Football enthusiasts from within and outside the North-central, South-west and South-South zones of Nigeria are in for thrilling times as no fewer than 24 team will take part in this year’s NFF/CBN All Financial Institutions Football Competition (AFIFC), kick-off on Saturday, September 11, 2021, with the finals billed for the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Cross River State on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
According to the organisers, the group stage matches of the yearly event, now in its 34th edition, hold on Saturday, September 11 and Thursday, September 16, 2021, while the quarterfinal games are scheduled for Sunday, September 19, 2021.
The preliminary and quarterfinal matches of the 24-team competition will hold in Lafia, Nasarawa State and Osogbo, Osun State, while the semifinal games will be played at the Uyo Township Stadium, Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
The finals and third-place matches will be decided inside the main bowl of the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
At a press parley in Abuja to announce this year’s competition, CBN’s director of corporate communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, revealed that ex-international, Friday Ekpo will grace this year’s finals as a Special Guest, adding that all the games will be played with strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols instituted by the President.
He also disclosed that the winners of this year’s edition, like in the year before the COVID-19 induced break, will pocket the sum of N2,000,000, while the runners-up will receive N1,500,000. The second runners-up and the fourth-placed teams will each receive the sums of N1,000,000 and N500,000, respectively.
Nwanisobi reiterated the apex bank commitment to the promotion and development of sporting activities in Nigeria, through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) window.
The Central Bank of Nigeria Football Club (CBN FC) won the last edition of the competition after they beat the Unity Bank Football Club by a lone goal at the Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, formerly known as Abakaliki Township Stadium.
The competition, however, did not hold in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the world, leading to the suspension of all sporting activities.