By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Zonal Coordinator North West, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Olusola Luke said that six out of the seven states in the zone are participating in the zonal elimination for team sports ahead of the National Sports Festival (NSF) billed for Abuja in December.
He disclosed this while fielding questions from newsmen after the technical meeting and draws were concluded at the media centre of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
“Only six out of seven states that make up the zone were present. Sokoto State didn’t turn up they said for logistics reasons.
“Again in some sports, some states are not presenting teams. For a game like abula, no representative. Cricket is having two states,” he said.
Luke explained that they have all agreed that after the meeting, no admitting of fresh states.
He explained that out of nine events, eight events would be featured.
On why some states will not be featuring in all the events, he said, “The reasons given by the directors of sports of various states is logistics.
“Especially in team sports, that still provide one medal.. In individual sports, one person can win many medals,” he added.
The zonal coordinator assured that the zone is fully prepared to host a hitch free eliminations.
” Even if the nine sports are to feature, we are ready. We have all officials on ground. The Federal Ministry sent in four observers from Abuja” he stated.
On behalf of the Directors of Sports, Yakubu Ibrahim of Kaduna State said that everything is on course to ensure a hitch free contest, assuring that Kaduna is fully prepared.
“As you are aware, we are champions in most sports. We have players on ground and we are entering with about five events,” he said.
On why they are not fielding a team for abula, he explained that since he came on board, he has not witnessed any team practicing the game.
He commended Governor Nasir el-Rufai for giving them all the support.
“Whatever we request, they give us and that gives us confidence that we are fully prepared to go on to the NSF and do the state proud.
Also fielding questions, YSFON Secretary, Abdukrazak Usman, who is an official for football and para soccer for the eliminations, said that for the game to grow at the grassroots level, they have resolved to be fair in officiating.
The zonal eliminations end on October 18.