The Central Bank of Nigeria Football Club has won the 2019 All Financial Institutions Football Club (AFIFC) competition after defeating Unity Bank Football Club by a lone goal at the game played at the Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, formerly known as Abakaliki Township Stadium.
The only goal of the pulsating match was scored by Lazarus Ijale, via a spot kick in the 63rd minute of the game.
Speaking at the event, which was graced by former Super Eagles star, Victor Ikpeba, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, commended all the teams that participated in the competition, and stressed that the tournament was one of the Bank’s foremost and oldest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) functions.
Mr. Emefiele, whose remarks were delivered by the Deputy Director in the Corporate Communications Department of the Bank and Head of the Public Relations Division, Mrs. Veronica Aqua, noted that the bank remained committed to contributing to the promotion and development of football in the country, in addition to its contributions in golf and tennis.
He noted that the AFIFC had become a very significant tournament among financial institutions in Nigeria, particularly as it created an opportunity for social interaction among financial institutions and regulators as well as facilitated the promotion of harmony in Nigeria’s financial system.
While congratulating the winners of this year’s competition, the CBN Governor assured all stakeholders that the apex bank would sustain its sponsorship of the event, even as he urged financial institutions to continue to uphold the spirit of sportsmanship.
The Governor also thanked the Ebonyi State Government for making the stadium available, and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for mobilizing financial institutions as well as ensuring a hitch-free competition.
He further acknowledged the contribution of the media and all the football fans for their excellent conduct during the competition.
Also speaking, Victor Ikpeba lauded the CBN for leading the way in promoting the game of football and other sporting activities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
Ikpeba stressed the importance of sponsorship to the development of sports in the country, noting that the government or a single corporate entity could not do it all.
He also urged other corporate bodies to emulate the CBN in supporting sports for the overall good of the society.
Meanwhile, in the third-place play-off that preceded the final match, last year’s losing finalist, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Football Club of Abuja pipped Amju Unique Microfinance Bank, Delta State to win the bronze medal.