The South Sudan National Olympic Committee (SSNOC) executive board members led by the committee’s President Eng. Juma Stephen Lugga met the newly appointed Minister of Youth and Sports Hon. Dr. Albino Bol in his office on Thursday 26th March 2020.
The undersecretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Hon. Kuac Week Wol was present.
Hon. Albino appreciated the Olympics Committee for the activities they have managed to put across the country which eventually spread Peace and Unity during the difficult moments. He has urged the committee to work on their annual activities’ budget and submit it to the Ministry before the annual budget in June 2020.
“This ministry has been receiving little funding during the past six years of the transitional government due to the unfortunate situation since 2013, i believe that peace and unity can easily be accelerated through sports activities, therefore we need to put all our ideas and plans together and also develop a reasonable budget to all the activities that will ran for the whole of 2020,” says Dr. Albino.
Hon Albino further appreciated the National Football, Basketball and Athletic teams for making South Sudan proud with the recent events they participated in, he also said he will be more than willing to work with anyone including Youth and Elders to make sure that Sports is taken to another level in the country.
Hon. Albino was appointed by South Sudan President H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit in a decree on the 12th March 2020 as National Minister of Youth and Sports, replacing Hon. Dr Nadia Arop Dudi who is currently serving as the National Minister of Culture, Museums and National Heritage.
The SSNOC President Eng. Juma Stephen Lugga stated that their visit is to brief the Minister about the historical background of the committee and other events and activities since 2015, he also stated that the committee has teams in Special Olympics and Paralympics, he went further to congratulate the new Minister.
Eng Lugga also informed the minister that the Olympics have been postponed until the summer of 2021 following the COVID_19 outbreak in China, the SSNOC president also confirmed that South Sudan already had 4 athletes sent for intensive training ahead of the Tokyo Olympic games. Lugga assured to the Minister that Athletes will continue to be in the training Village until July 2020 as per the MoU signed in 2018 by the host city.
Eng. Juma Stephen Lugga also said the postponement of the Olympics games to the summer of 2021 is of advantage, which according to him will give them time to now financially settle other outstanding payments and it will also give a chance for the athletes to add more effort.
The Undersecretary, Hon. Kuac Week Wol confirmed that sports activities are being called off due to the COVID_19 and he is optimistic that the government this time with peace in place, Sports will fully be funded in all the Associations and Federations in the Country.
It should be noted that South Sudan national teams including Football and Athletics in the last 7 years have been struggling to travel for games outside the country due to logistics and paying player’s bonuses. South Sudan’s Bright Stars in 2017 reached Bujumbura hours into the group B 2019 AFCON Qualifiers match against host and were almost missing the game due to late ticketing and inadequate finances.