Sport stakeholders in Ekiti State have kicked against the purported exclusion of its football team from the list of teams that will participate in the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Edo state.
The General Manager Ekiti State Sports Council, Chief Ayodeji Shamo who expressed displeasure at the action of the Zonal Coordinator said the exclusion was rejected in its entirety saying appropriate formal action had also been taken to right the wrong.
He said the yardstick allegedly adopted by the Zonal Coordinator was alien to sport all over the world adding that such a unilateral decision was unacceptable.
Chief Shamo recalled that Ekiti State football team had same right as their Lagos State counterparts and no state was supposed to be marginalized.
He called on the appropriate authorities to do things in accordance to known law of the game rather than allow themselves to be used as a tool to dash the hopes of dozens of future stars.
He noted that a play-off between both Lagos and Ekiti was the best and ideal way to go about it rather than trying to please a state and displease another through an illicit rule.
The Sport Council boss recalled that Ekiti State football team finished on top of it’s group just like Lagos State also finished as winners of it’s group during the qualifiers for the football event of the National Sports Festival, hence both state have equal rights and privileges which should not be trampled upon under any guise.
He called for the intervention of the Secretary of the Main Organizing Committee who was a former Zonal Coordinator, Mr Peter Nelson urging him to use his wealth of experience and expertise to put the issue in the right perspective to avoid unnecessary rancour and misgiving among sports administrators and sportsmen in the South West.
Speaking with the Head Coach of Ekiti State football team, Kehinde Anjorin said the game plan was to tactically ease Ekiti team out of the National Sports Festival football event being one of the areas of strength for TEAM EKITI.
The coach said exclusion of Team Ekiti footballers from the National Sports Festival would not only deprive young footballers the aspiration of showcasing their best skills at the national level but will also discourage them from giving their best during future qualifiers.
Coach Anjorin said the fight against the purported exclusion of Team Ekiti footballers from the list of National Sports Festival bound teams had been giving every concerned stakeholder sleepless nights as the funds and energy put into the qualifiers would amount to futility if nothing was swiftly done about it.
Findings from the sports circle in Ekiti State have shown great displeasure on the path of the footballers and other sportsmen and women who are due to represent Ekiti State in other sports.
They called on the State Government and sports stakeholders not to allow the alleged daylight robbery.