The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) FC on Saturday beat Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) FC 1-0 to emerge champions of 2022 All Financial Institutions Football Competition (AFIFC).
The final match played at the Gombe Township Stadium in Gombe, was sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The lone goal, scored by Leonard Pankyes in the 20th minute, was all that the FIRS team needed to clinch victory and pocket the N2 million competition prize.
In the third-place match played earlier, Unity Bank defeated Bubayero Microfinance Bank with a similar goal margin and emerged as the third runner up of the competition.
In a post-match conference, CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the competition began in 1979.
Represented by Alhaji Shehu Goringo, CBN Branch Controller, Gombe, Emefiele said CBN’s commitment to making positive contributions to the promotion and development of football remained the major reason for sponsoring the competition annually, which is in line with the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
“The competition, over the years, has also served as a grooming ground for young football-playing bankers to become full professionals and national team players.
“It is on record that some of our decorated soccer heroes such as Kanu Nwankwo, Henry Nwosu and Stephen Keshi, of blessed memory, participated in this competition before representing Nigeria at several national and international competitions.’’
The CBN boss appreciated the Gombe State government for hosting the finals and “we thank our long-standing partner, the NFF, for its continued collaboration with CBN in organizing this tournament.’’
On his part, President of NFF, Ibrahim Gusau who was represented by Alhaji Babagana Kalli, the Chairman of Borno Football Association said the competition had made positive impact through the years.
Gusau commended the CBN for preserving the history of AFIFC by its continued sponsorship of the competition, “this is really commendable and good for football development.’’
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State who was represented by Dr Larry Daniel, the Executive Secretary of Gombe State Sports Commission, commended CBN and NFF for choosing to host the finals of the competition in the state.
Yahaya said the state remained committed to welcoming any interest that would bring development of any sector and improvement of the well being of citizens.
About 20 teams comprised regulators, deposit money banks and other financial institutions participated in the 2022 edition of the AFIFC.
By the outcome of the finals, Second-Runner up, SEC team will go home with N1.5 million, while the Third-Runner up, Unity Bank will receive N1 million and Bubayero Microfinance Bank, the fourth-placed team will pocket N500,000.