First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited has restated its commitment to support initiatives geared towards youths, sports and overall national development.
The assurance was given by the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Bank, Mr. Ladi Balogun, at the closing ceremony of this year’s COPA Lagos Beach Soccer competition yesterday. The soccer fiesta, organised by Kinetic Sports Limited and sponsored by FCMB for the sixth consecutive year, was held at Eko Atlantic Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Switzerland emerged champion of this year’s competition after defeating Nigeria 8-3. The highly colourful and entertaining competition also featured Enyimba Football Club and Pepsi Academy.
According to Mr. Balogun, the Bank’s interventions in the area of sports are aimed at developing the minds, body and abilities of the populace, especially youths, to contribute significantly to the growth of the country’s tourism sector.
“The COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament provides a platform to bring our customers, Nigerians, soccer fans, families, local and international soccer beach players and other stakeholders together in an atmosphere of relaxation, excitement and bonding which are very important to healthy living and nation building. This tournament has become one of the most exciting events not just this festive season but during the year,’’ stressed the FCMB CEO.
He added that, “Beach Soccer has become more popular in Nigeria. We believe that our sponsorship of the tournament in the last six years has helped to raise the profile of the game going by the large turnout of spectators and other dignitaries that have been watching the football matches and other lifestyle events associated with the competition. We will continue to remain a strong supporter of initiatives that will create opportunities and equip our Nigerian youths for a bright future.’’
Apart from the excitement which FCMB built around the football matches, the bank also treated guests and customers that attended the fiesta to a VIP treatment at its hospitality lounge.
Among the dignitaries that registered their presence at the lounge were the Special Adviser on Sports to the Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Anthony Adeyinka; Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Deji Tinubu; Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Fela Bank-Olemoh; former Executive member of FIFA, Dr. Amos Adamu and President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo.
FCMB also hosted former football stars like Victor Ikpeba, Mutiu Adepoju, Alloy Agu, Ifeanyi Udeze as well as top celebrities at the lounge.
Guests and spectators were also provided with the opportunity to experience the unique banking services of FCMB as the sales team of the Bank was on ground to showcase its array of valued-
Other highlights of this year’s COPA Lagos competition included celebrity match, fashion show and a concert with performances from top rated artistes.
Commenting on this year’s competition, the President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Ladipo, expressed excitement at the growing status of beach soccer in Nigeria and the support provided by corporate bodies like FCMB. According to him, “beach soccer has come to stay and I sincerely want to thank the organisers of this tournament. FCMB in particular has been a great pillar of support”.
Former Super Eagles striker, Mutiu Adepoju, equally lauded the organisers and FCMB, “for organising a marvelous competition this year. Kudos to FCMB for being a lover of sports”.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Kinetic Sports, Mr. Samson Adamu, commended FCMB for its role in the promotion of sports development. According to him, ’”the action of the Bank demonstrates that it means well for the youths and sports, because beach soccer is an exciting game that has the capacity to effectively engage our youths to realise and fulfill their potentials. The involvement of FCMB and other sponsors in COPA Lagos has made the tournament more glamorous’’.
Over the years, FCMB has supported sporting activities that have wide appeal across demographic and socio-economic classes in line with its value as a simple,