By G9ija

The Cross River Commissioner for Sports, Mr Offu Aya, has said that the health of athletes was more important than the National Sports Festival, tagged `Edo 2020’.

Aya said this on Wednesday in Calabar during an interview with newsmen.

He said that the health of any individual was more important than any sporting event in view of the COVID 19 ravaging the world.

Aya said that the athletes were addressed to understand the situation on ground and they were encouraged to continue with their training so as not to be taken by surprise when it would be re-scheduled.

“That Edo 2020 was postponed does not stop the athletes from continuing their daily practice so that any day a new date is given for the tournament, we will still move immediately.

“The state has spent money, paid in advance for buses to convey athletes to the games, we also bought some sports equipment and then someone is coming to tell you that the games is not holding again.

“The spirit was already high that today some of the athletes were leaving, naturally, you know how anybody will feel about such situation.

“But as sports men and women, they have taken it in good faith, I urge them not to be demoralised.

“The sports festival is sponsored fully by the government, it is the same government that fixed the date for the festival.

“It is the same government that decided that it has to postpone the games because of the health challenge on ground,” he said.

Aya called on Nigerians to continue to encourage, pray and motivate the athletes to continue with their practices. At the appropriate time, the games would be held.