Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is to host Team Nigeria, which finished second at the just concluded African Games in Rabat, Morocco.
The Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare made the disclosure, while briefing State House on his presentation to Federal Executive Council meeting yesterday.
He said letters had been written and a decision would soon be taken on the appropriate date for the reception, which will also included D’Tigers and D’Tigeress.
Dare said Morocco outing will serve as a benchmark for the 2020 Olympics preparation.
Team Nigeria finished second at Rabat, Morocco behind Egypt at the just concluded African Games and Nigeria won 121 medals: 46 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze.
The North African country, Egypt emerged top on the medal table with 99 gold medals, 96 silver and 69 bronze to bring their medals to 264.
South Africa came third with 87 medals.
Noting that Team Nigeria only had seven weeks to prepare for the African Games in Morocco, Dare said Nigeria would have done better if it had a longer period to prepare.
“So there is a lesson learnt from there,” he said.
Dare said the athletes will leave for the Doha Meet on Saturday, adding that the outcome will determine Nigeria’s performance in the 2020 June Olympics in Tokyo.
Speaking on the dilapidated nature of stadia across the country, the minister said N1.2 billion is needed annually for stadia maintenance.
While stating that such fund was not available, Dare said the ministry was exploiting partnership with the private sector.