The Benue State Director of Sports, Comrade Philiph Nongu has said the absence of Team Benue at the ongoing National Youth Games in Ilorin is due late approval of funds.
In a chat with Daily Trust yesterday, the director said funds meant for Team Benue’s participation in the games were approved on Sunday, the same day entries and screening of athletes was to end.
He also said the approval was without cash backing making it practically impossible for unfortunate situation to be averted.
Nongu explained that Governor Samuel Ortom who would have approved and ensured funds were released in time for the games had travelled outside Nigeria and when he returned, he was faced with even more pressing matters.
“It is unfortunate that we are not taking part in this year’s National Youth Games. Funds for us to travel to Ilorin were released late so it was not possible for us to attend.
“We got the approval late because our sports loving governor had travelled outside Nigeria so when we were finalising preparations he wasn’t around to approve the funds.
“Approval came on Sunday which was the last day for entries and screening of athletes. It was no longer possible to travel for the Games.
“The government of Benue State is passionate about sports. It was not a deliberate action to stop us from attending the games,” he said.
Nongu also said in as much as the athletes felt disappointed, after detailed explanations, they understood the situation.