The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) football team has emerged winner of the 2022 Ships and Ports Maritime Cup Competition held on 28 October 2022.
The NPA defeated the Nigerian Navy team by a lone goal in the final event.
This is the second time the NPA team would lift the Maritime Cup. The team first won the trophy in 2018.
Shedrach Charles converted a well-taken strike in the 10th minute of the match to put the NPA team also known as the Koko Marines ahead of the Nigerian Navy.
The third place went to the defending champions, ENL Consortium, who defeated Josepdam Port Services three goals to one.
Prizes were also given to the Most Valuable Player, Augustine Chibuzor of the Nigerian Navy; Best Goalkeeper, Ayetoba Iseoluwa, who conceded only two goals in five matches; the Fair Play team, Josepdam Port and best team of the tournament, ENL Consortium.
Reacting to the NPA victory, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said that he was excited with the outcome of the match.
Bello-Koko, represented by Chinwe Nwokolo, the General Manager, Medical Services, NPA, said that the boys were really good and that was why they came out tops.
Bolaji Akinola, the Chief Executive Officer, Ships and Ports, noted that even with the two years break, the tournament turned out very exciting.
He said a total of ₦2 million would be won in prizes by the winning teams and players, winner of the trophy would smile home with ₦1 million while the silver and bronze medal winners would get ₦500,000 and ₦300,000 respectively.
He said the Most Valuable Player, Augustine Chibuzor and the Best Goalkeeper, Ayetoba Iseoluwa – both of the Nigerian Navy, as well as Josepdam Port Services, which won the Fair Play award would also receive cash prizes.
“This is a tournament that binds industry stakeholders together, we saw the spirit of comradeship, the joyful atmosphere, the friendship and the spirit of competition.
It is a tournament that has come to stay. We are having young people in the maritime industry and we need to keep them positively engaged through sports.
Officiating was top-notch, the officials are members of the Lagos State Referee Council, the best we can get. They are well trained, licensed and certified by FIFA, they are the same that officiate Nigerian professional league matches.
People are talking about introducing Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) , it is a function of resources that we have at hand, we will continue to see what we can do in that regard.”
The competition was created by Ships & Ports in 2009 to encourage recreation and camaraderie among employees of government agencies, private sector operators, and regulators in the maritime industry.
Past winners of the Maritime Cup since inception are the Nigerian Navy (2009), Micura Stevedoring Services (2010), Nigeria Customs Service (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, and 2017), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (2014).
Others are Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (2015), Nigerian Ports Authority (2018) and ENL Consortium Nigeria Ltd (2019).