The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development on Wednesday released the final medals table of the 2022 National Sports Festival, 29 days after the festival ended in Asaba, Delta State, last December, The PUNCH reports.
This comes after the ministry received the report from the committee it set up to investigate the medal scandal at the festival.
In a statement signed by Ismaila Abubakar, Permanent Secretary, sports ministry, the ministry blamed “human errors” for the scandal, which earlier saw the medals table updated twice behind closed doors after the end of the festival.
Some sports commissioners had cried foul, alleging that some states connived with festival officials to add more gold medals to their haul, so that they could get bigger financial rewards from their home states.
The statement made available to The PUNCH by the ministry on Wednesday read, “The committee submitted that human errors occasioned by administrative laxity, inexperience, general delays, non-awareness and some in cases, the misapplication of the substantive Festival Rules led to the flaws observed in the earlier computed Medal Table, which has now been rectified and approved by the ministry.”
The press statement also stated that due to the full application of the rules, results in some athletics, scrabble, weightlifting and wrestling events that did not meet the criteria for scoring were not recorded in the reviewed table.
It also noted that while most states retained their positions on the table, some others lost some medals “as the committee applied all extant rules guiding the organisation of the National Sports Festival as applicable in games of this magnitude.”
In the reviewed final medals table, Delta State maintained its lead with a total of 280 gold, 168 silver and 120 bronze medals, followed by Bayelsa, Edo and Oyo States, which pooled 106 gold, 69 gold and 43 gold medals respectively.
In the initial final medals table released December 10, 2022 hosts Team Delta emerged overall winners of the competition with 648 medals comprising 320 gold, 200 silver and 128 bronze medals. They were stripped of 40 gold medals in the reviewed table released on Wednesday, maintained their No.1 position.
Second-place Bayelsa, who had 132 gold, now had 106 gold and third-place Edo had their gold haul reduced from 78 to 69. Fourth-place Oyo also had their gold reduced from 50 to 43.
The ministry did not shed light on states or persons allegedly responsible for the medal padding, or punishments for them, despite earlier protests.
“With this release, the ministry has brought to a logical close, all matters relating to the issue of Medal table for the 21st National Sports Festival,” the ministry concluded.
Sports administrator Shuaib Gara-Gombe insisted that the ministry must make public sanctions for those found guilty.
“The ministry should apportion sanctions for those who padded the medals. They only came out with a report and kept quiet on the sanctions, but we are not going to accept that because they must tell us exactly how they plan to punish those involved,” Gara-Gombe told The PUNCH. (Punch)