Lagos, Monday, December 16, 2013 – After three days of exciting beach soccer matches and other activities, the 2013 edition of the COPA Lagos Beach Soccer tournament, sponsored by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, came to an impressive end on Sunday, December 15, 2013. At the end of the soccer fiesta, the Super Sand Eagles of Nigeria won the trophy for the third consecutive time after defeating Senegal 4-2 in the keenly contested final match.
The other countries that participated in the tournament held at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island in Lagos, were Germany and Lebanon. This year’s COPA Lagos, organised by Kinetic Sports Limited, marked the third consecutive year that FCMB sponsored the tournament.
Explaining the rationale for aligning with COPA Lagos Beach Soccer, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said, ‘’we see our involvement in this tournament mainly as our contribution to developing sports in Nigeria and our way of adding more value to the lives of all soccer loving fans, our customers and other stakeholders. If you look critically, COPA Beach Soccer is relatively new in this environment though very prominent in several other countries. We believe our sponsorship will help raise the profile of the game in Nigeria in the nearest future’’.
While commending the organisers, the players and spectators for ensuring the success of the tournament, he stated that, ‘’we hope to continue as long as the organizers are very committed to the ideals and objectives. We are gradually building a brand called COPA Lagos, which we hope will generate substantial equity for Nigeria and sport lovers in future’’.
Apart from the soccer matches, FCMB also carried out a number of impactful activities at this year’s COPA Lagos tournament. On Friday, December 13, 2013, staff of the Bank turned out at the Lagos bar beach for a beach cleaning exercise, an initiative of the Beach Soccer World Foundation. The FCMB staff, in collaboration with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), the players from the participating countries and their officials engaged in the exercise aimed at drawing public attention and sensitisation on the care of beaches worldwide.
The Bank also organised a kids Clinic programme, where children from Charity Homes were taken through the basics of beach soccer to promote their interest in the game. The beach cleaning and kids clinic aligns with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the financial institution.
FCMB also treated guests and customers that attended the 3-day soccer fiesta to a VIP treatment at the Bank’s hospitality marquee. Among the dignitaries that registered their presence at the marquee was Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. Sports personalities like former FIFA Executive Committee member, Dr. Amos Adamu; ex-Super Eagles Coach and striker, Samson Siasia; Victor Ikpeba, Mutiu Adepoju; ace broadcasters, Dayo Adeneye and Deji Tinubu, were also present.
Other highlights of this year’s tournament were celebrity match that featured entertainers, such as Dapo Adebanjo (alias D’Banj), ex-footballers and other top personalities in the society, including the Group Head, Marketing and Communications of FCMB, Mr. Ikechukwu Kalu. There was also a concert featuring artistes like Olamide, Jaywon, Skales, Ketchup, DJ Kess, Saeon, DJ Mewsic, among others.
Commenting on the 2013 COPA Lagos tournament, Samson Siasia, said, ‘’it was well organised’’. He commended FCMB for its roles at promoting sports development. According to him, ‘’the action of the Bank demonstrates that it means well for the youths and sport, because beach soccer is an exciting game that has the capacity to awaken interest and thereby effectively engage our youths to realise and fulfill their potentials’’.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Abu Azeez was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
FCMB is a member of FCMB Group Plc, which is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria, with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. Having successfully transformed to a retail and commercial banking-led group, FCMB expects to continue to distinguish itself by delivering exceptional services, while enhancing the growth and achievement of personal and business aspirations through the offering of innovative, easy to use and helpful products and services.