Funding stalls Ebonyi’s participation in Youth Games preliminaries

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failed send some events the qualifying championship for the National Youth Games holding in Umuahia, because of its failure secure funding.

The event scheduled hold in the Abia capital from Nov. 12 Nov. 14.

supposed in such events as football, volleyball and handball.

A NAN correspondent who visited the Sports Council reports that athletes were seen boarding buses to return to their schools, as they could not proceed to Umuahia.

It gathered that the events would end on Nov. 13 and there were hopes for teams from the to go to Umuahia.

Emmanuel Utobo, the of Sports, described the development as “regrettable’’.

of the athletes who spoke to NAN, on the condition of anonymity, said this had shown the ’s apathy toward sports development in the state.

“We have been camping here, under deplorable conditions for long, the hope of participating in the and showcasing talents.

hopes have been dashed by ’s inability to funds. We have lost on both fronts, having been out of school since commencing preparations for the event,’’ the source said.

An official of the sports council, who did not disclose his identity, was seen distributing transport fares to the decamped athletes, describing the situation as `unfortunate’.

Obinna Ogba, a Vice-Chairman of the Football Association (NFA), noted that the development was enough proof that the was not interested in sports.

He noted that it be would foolhardy to expect the government to sponsor athletes to such a , when it had yet to reward those that won laurels at the 2012 National Sports Festival.

Sam Mgbada, Commissioner for and Sports in the state, however, said the state would be represented by the basketball of St. Augustine’s Seminary, Ezamgbo.

“The school walked over the Imo that fielded overage . The team will leave for Umuahia on Wednesday,” he said.