Teams line up before the start of the Nigeria Bankers Games
A mind game has been set off by players of Fidelity Bank and United Bank for Africa ahead of the start of the football events of the 2012 Nigeria Bankers Games with Kayode Agajala and Emeka Udegbulem setting the tone for the off-field battle.
Fidelity Bank’s Kayode Agbalaja fired the first salvo in the mind game ahead of the opening matches on Sunday when he declared that the bank was out to add football to the chest of medals they will be presenting to the Management this year. Fidelity Bank finished runners-up in the football event last year, losing to Skye Bank but emerging tops on the overall medals standing.
In what seemed a quick response from the bank that boasts to be Africa’s biggest, UBA’s Udegbulem warned other teams to forget the football event and pointing at the bank’s record as the most successful in the football event of the Bankers Games.
UBA has won the football event on four past tournaments and Uduegbulem said “we are definitely having our trophy back from Skye Bank this time”.
Agajala, a Corporate Hall of Fame nominee and Most Value Player of the 2011 edition boasted that the team has fine-tuned strategies to stop all others beginning from their opening day encounter against Sterling Bank at the University of Lagos Sports Complex.
His words: “We expect to go one step higher than we did last year by winning the trophy for football this time and this is a promise we have made to our Managing Director, Mr. Reginald Ihejiani. It will make us the overall best team in all events in the Bankers Game”.
Pointedly ignoring the declaration of Agbalaja, the team manager of UBA, Uduegbulem played down any suggestion that Fidelity is a team to be reckoned with when he focused his challenge on the defending champions.
“We are on record as the team to beat in the annals of the Bankers Games with four titles to our credit and we are definitely going to have the cup back from Skye Bank this year to stretch our record,” boasted Uduegbulem, who also have been nominated for the Corporate Nigeria Hall of Fame.
The opening match of the 2012 NBG will be between cup holders, Skye Bank and Stanbic IBTC with the second match of the day being a clash between Fidelity and Sterling. Highlights of the matches will be broadcast on SuperSports Blitz, the news update on DSTV channel 200.