It was a night of celebration and eulogies as Super Eagles Captain and Chelsea FC of England mi...
It was a night of celebration and eulogies as Super Eagles Captain and Chelsea FC of England midfielder, John Obi Mikel and forward Odion Ighalo of Watford FC picked up deserved awards at the Nigeria Pitch Awards.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Sports Minister Solomon Dalung and NFF President Amaju Pinnick were also among eminent Nigerians who personally graced and picked up honours at the third edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards in Kaduna on Friday.
Obi, along with NFF boss Pinnick and former Nigeria international Olusegun Odegbami picked up the Sam Okwaraji Award for Commitment to Nigerian Football, while Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Barrister Solomon Dalung, Super Eagles head coach Samson Siasia and former Inspector General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro (now Chairman of the Police Service Commission) received the Special Achievement in Football Awards.
In the players’ category, Ikechukwu Ezenwa of Sunshine Stars FC picked up the Goalkeeper of the Year award. Other winners in this category are Chinedu Udoji of Enyimba FC (Defender of the Year), Paul Onobi of Sunshine Stars FC (Midfielder of the Year) and Odion Ighalo of Watford FC (Striker of the Year) and King of the Pitch. Asisat Oshoala retained her position as Queen of the Pitch.
Emmanuel Amuneke snatched the top prize for Coaches for his exploits with the Golden Eaglets in 2015 while Kadiri Ikhana won the Manager of the Year Award. The Golden Eaglets and Enyimba FC won the Team of the Year and Club of the Year respectively. His Excellency, Nyesom Wike was voted Football Friendly Governor of the Year and Lagos emerged the State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme for the third consecutive year.
In the Media Category, Godwin Enakhena (Top Radio), Austin Okon-Akpan (Channels TV) and Tana Aiyejina (Punch) were announced winners.
Also at the brief but impressive ceremony were NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, 2ndVice President/LMC chairman Shehu Dikko, Board Members Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, Sunday Dele-Ajayi, Babagana Kalli, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande and Chris Green, as well as General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi
Nigeria Pitch Awards is an initiative of Matchmakers Consult International fully endorsed and supported by the Nigeria Football Federation, Nigeria’s football governing body. It represents the Federation’s first ever involvement in football awards in Nigeria.
It major objectives are to identify, recognise and honour exceptional talent, hard work, determination, commitment and patriotism in Nigerian footballers and other football stakeholders as a way of inspiring footballers and football officials to ‘play’, perform and work better with a view to improving our ranking in the world football community.
See winners and more photos below
Nigeria Pitch Awards – Winners
Goal Keeper of the Year
Sunshine Stars FC
Defender of the Year
Midfielder of the Year
Sunshine Stars FC
Striker of the Year
Rasheedi Yekini Award
Warri Wolves FC
Most Valuable Player (Men) in the NPFL
Warri Wolves FC
Most Valuable Player (Women) in the NPFL
Rivers Angels FC
Club/Team of the Year
Enyimba FC - Club of the Year
U-17 Golden Eaglet -Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
U-17 Golden Eaglets
Manager of the Year
Referee of the Year
Player’s Agent of the Year
John Olatunji Shittu
State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme
Football Friendly Governor of the Year
H.E Nyesom Wike
Football Journalist of the Year – Print
Football Journalist of the Year –Radio
Football Journalist of the Year –TV
Corporate Sponsor of Football
Guinness Nigeria plc -Silver
Sam Okwaraji Awards
Segun Odegbami - (Ex-International)
Amaju Pinnick - (Administrator)
John Obi Mikel - (Highest Number of Caps in the team)
Queen of the Pitch
King of the Pitch
Special Achievement Award
His Excellency, Nasir El-Rufai
Executive Governor, Kaduna State
Barr. Solomon Dalong
Minister of Sports
Sir Mike Mbama Okiro
Chairman, Police Service Commission
Football Achievement Award
Super Eagles Chief Coach