23rd March, 2012
The Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Navy (NN) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), will be trading tackles in Group C of the Ships & Ports Soccer Challenge Maritime Cup 2012, billed to hold from Tuesday, 27 March to 12 April.
Apart from the defending champions, the Customs, NN and NIMASA, GAC Shipping Nigeria Limited are also in Group C.
At the draws held this week, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), APM Terminals Apapa Limited, Lilypond Container Terminal, and Dominion Divine Freight Forwarders, will also be locking horns in Group A.
While Group B has Sifax Group, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFF), Lekki Port Football Club and Blue Ocean Handling Services, Group D has National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGEFF), Micura Services Limited, Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS) Nigeria and Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL).
In his address before the draws, Chief Executive Officer of Ships & Ports Communication Company, organisers of the competition, Bolaji Akinola, said that while the winners will go home with a cash prize of N1 million, the first and second runners-up will be given N300,000 and N200,000 respectively.
Akinola, who stated that each edition of the competition has been an improvement of its previous one, informed that the opening ceremony and the first match will be played at the mainbowl of the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
The Ships & Ports boss added that 16 teams/companies will be playing for the first time in this year’s competition.
Akinola said that the reason for the competition as it were from the onset, is to create a platform for interaction among maritime operators outside their core business environment.
While admonishing the teams/companies to see the competition beyond the prize money, Akinola said that, what matters most is the participation, because the prize money to most of the companies participating in the competition is insignificant.
Chairman of the Lagos State Referees Association, Prince Adesegun Kosoko, who supervised the draws, said that all the matches in the competition will be officiated by accredited referees of the Federation of International Football Association, (FIFA).
He noted that since the inception of the competition four years ago, his association has always looked forward to the competition, as a result of the integrity and commitment which the organisers have displayed.
Kosoko appealed to the participating teams/companies to see the competition as a mere recreational exercise, so as to make it injury-free.