By Solomon Nwoke
The 2nd Ships and Ports Soccer Challenge, Maritime Cup 2010 finally kicked off in Lagos yesterday at the Training Pitch of the National Institute For Sports (NIS), National Stadium Lagos with 16 team vying for honours.
The maiden edition had only six teams. This yearâ€™s competition runs for two weeks. The teams play at four different centres, namely the NIS practice pitch, Union Bank play ground, the Hockey pitch at the National Stadium, and the Nigerian Navy play ground Apapa,
The Western Naval Command of the Nigerian NavyÂ team who defeated defeated Sifax Group 4 _ 1 to lift the trophy in 2009 started their title defence this year against MICURA Services in the opening game
Speaking earlier in the opening ceremony yesterday, coordinator of the event, Bolaji Akinola , saidÂ the competition aims to provide all operators and organizations in the maritime sector the opportunity to interact and build friendship with each other.
AkinolaÂ said that apart from seminars and conferences, stakeholders in the shipping sector have no other platform for interaction , noting that even the seminars and conferences do not really bring together all the operators and organisations due to their various business interests.
The annual football competition, according to him, also aims to rekindle the spirit of sportsmanship in the sector.
However, other teams in this yearâ€™s challenge include Lorenso Marine Services, Marcon, Stars Marintine Academy, Freight Forwarders Academy of Nigeria, Certified Institute of Shipping, Sifax Group, Marintine Voice Inc, Lagos Channel Management, APM Terminals, Nigerian Shippersâ€™ Council, College of Fisheries and Dominion Divine Freight Forwarders.