The beach soccer tournament to be hosted in Lagos will become a permanent fixture on the annual beach soccer calendar
Copa Lagos Beach Soccer tournament starts on Friday at the Eko Atlantic City and the organisers and sponsors have resolved to make the event an annual one.
"Yes, we have arranged with Beach Soccer World Wide to make the event an annual event,” Kinetic Sports’ Samson Adamu said to Goal.com.
“Copa Lagos is here to stay, we are even looking into ways to expand the tournament and take it further.
“Beach soccer will be in Nigeria for sure. One of our big goals is to make Nigeria the central hub for beach soccer in Africa.
And the only thing that will be featured is not only Beach Soccer; there will be artistes featuring, a beach cleaning exercise and lots of fun-filled activities from December 14 – 16 on the beach.
“This year, there will be a beach cleaning exercise with a clinic fashioned at intimating youths about the prospects of beach soccer and explanation of the rules that guide the particular genre of football.
“We have made many improvements this year, the teams competing this year are of a high quality, and we have a higher profile of artiste's performing this year.
“The celebrity match will be much more interesting this time around with the competition bigger and better.
“We want to increase the awareness levels of Beach Soccer amongst Nigerians. Our goal is to use Copa Lagos as a tool for the development of Beach Soccer in Nigeria, to attract investors who will invest in the Sand Eagles and ultimately the creation of a Beach Soccer League.
“We want to play our role in developing future talents in Beach Soccer. Finally we want people to have fun, it has been a long year for everybody and we want to create an event where families can have fun and enjoy themselves.
Adamu also spoke on the chances of Nigeria’s team retaining the trophy that they won last year.
The teams at 2012 Copa Lagos
“All the teams will be tough the tournament this year will be very competitive. Three out of the four teams are ranked in the top 10 in the World, which gives you an indication of the standard Copa Lagos 2012 will reach.
“Argentina is one of the biggest teams in South America, I believe along with Brazil they are the only team to qualify for every FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
“Portugal are six-time European Champions, they are the second best team in the World. Their star player, Madjer, is considered by some as the best Beach Soccer player ever and he has won the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot five times.
“Lebanon is an exciting emerging team, they play with great passion, they have a striker called Haitham Fattal who is very dangerous, and he was the top scorer at the Asian games this year. They beat the UAE in that tournament this is the same UAE that beat Nigeria in Dubai. So as you can see there will be no easy games.
“I would just like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors FCMB, they were with us from day 1 and we are delighted that they are sponsoring us again, they saw potential in Beach Soccer that others didn't. They have been very important in bringing Beach Soccer to the youth and preserving the beauty of Nigeria's beaches.
“Finally and most importantly I want to thank our fans, without their support we would not be having this second edition. I would like to advise them to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter where we will be rewarding their support with great prizes.
The first math of the tournament will be between Portugal and Argentina while Nigeria will confront Lebanon in the second match of the day.