From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Teams, numbering 24, participating in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Financial Institutions football tournament, will jostle for a whooping N5 million prize money.
According to the organisers, the teams will snug it out in the finals of the tournament billed for the Main Bowl of the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Cross River State on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
The group stages of the competition organised in collaboration with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), will hold between Saturday, September 11 and Thursday, with the quarter finals scheduled for Sunday, September 19, 2021.
The preliminary and quarterfinal matches of the 24-team competition have also been scheduled for Lafia, Nasarawa State and Osogbo, Osun State.
Briefing newsmen on the schedule of the competition in Abuja, the Director, Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, disclosed that ex-international, Friday Ekpo will grace this year’s finals as a Special Guest.
He equally assured that all the games will be played with strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols instituted by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the deadly virus.
His words: “The winners of this year’s competition, like in the year before the COVID-19 induced break, will pocket the sum of N2,000,000, while the runners-up will receive N1,500,000.
“The second runners-up and the fourth-placed teams will receive the sums of N1,000,000 and N500,000, respectively,” he disclosed.
Speaking further, the CBN spokesman reiterated the Apex Bank’s commitment to the promotion and development of sporting activities in Nigeria, through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) window.
“It will be recalled that the CBN Football Club (CBN FC) won the 2019 All Financial Institutions’ Football Club (AFIFC) competition, after they beat the Unity Bank Football Club by a lone goal at the Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, formerly known as Abakaliki Township Stadium.
“The competition, however, did not hold in 2020 due to the Corona virus pandemic that ravaged the world, leading to the suspension of all sporting activities,” he noted.