Nigeria Pitch Awards: Internationals deserve more recognition – NFF

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Saturday says players representing the country deserve more incentives aside the match bonuses and allowances such as due recognition for outstanding performance.

Nigeria Pitch Awards: Internationals deserve more recognition - NFF

NFF Spokesman, Ademola Olajire, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 7th edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards held at Ibis Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.

Olajire, who represented NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick, said players representing the country were great ambassadors carrying the image of the country, hence they should be accorded due recognition and awards.

“The award is a great innovation and laudable one for outstanding players who are representing our country because that is what they are doing in other climes as well.

“This reward that serves as a payback for excellence will surely spur the players to deliver more to the aspiration of the country to being the world respected football country.

“If the players knows that there is an award waiting out there different from their normal match bonuses and allowances, it will be an extra motivation for them.

“Such award as Pitch Awards will help our players to deliver more of their mandate and perform better, it will also increase their adrenaline to go faster,” he said.

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“Olajire said that the Pitch Awards had a lot of credit for being an independent one devoid controversies in voting and selection process which is being handled be an independent body.

“It is expedient to say that this award is just one of the best in Nigeria because it is a transparent one, I must also commend the independence of the voters.

“The process of voting is being handled by an independent audit company SIAO. The audit company has said that the organisers of the award has never interfere with the process, and this is commendable.

“NFF has a great respect for this award and will continue to seek partnerships with them for contributing immensely to the growth of football in the country.

“We are glad with the independence and integrity of the awards and we hope it will continue to grow in such strength, he said.

The Manchester United sensation, Odion Ighalo, Leicester City Midfield maestro, Wilfred Ndidi, 2019 CAF Female Football of the Year, Asisat Oshoala and others are the major contenders for the 7th edition Nigeria Pitch Awards.

The nominees are: “Goalkeeper of the Year Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi and Chiamaka Nnadozie.

Defender of the Year: Kenneth Omeruo, Williams Troost – Ekong and Chidozie Awaziem.

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Midfielder of the year: Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi and Joe Aribo.

Striker of the Year: Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze.

Queen of the Pitch: Onome Ebi, Chiamaka Nnadozie and Assist Oshoala.

King of the pitch: Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Wilfred Ndidi.

Team of the year: Lobi Stars, Enyimba FC and Super Eagles.

Coach of the Year: Gernot Rohr, Usman Abdallah and Thomas Dennerby.

Samuel Okwaraji Award: Seyi Akinwunmi, Kunle Soname and Ahmed Musa.

State with the best grassroots Sports: Delta, Lagos State and Akwa Ibom State.

Football Friendly Governor of the Year: Nyesom Wike, Udom Emmanuel and Ifeanyi Okowa.

Corporate Sponsors of Football: Aiteo Group, Zenith Bank and Bet9ja.

Football Journalist of the year (Prints): Charles Diya (New Telegraph), Tana Aiyejina (Punch) and Jonny Edwards (Punch).

Football Journalist of the year (TV): Cecilia Omoreghe (Channels TV), Austin Okon – Akpan (Channels TV) and Mozez Praiz (Supersports).

Football Journalist of the year (Radio): Emmanuel Etim (Naija Info), Tony Bekederemo (Brilla FM) and Olawale Adigun, (Top Radio).

Football Journalist of the year (Online): Fisayo Dairo (ACL Sports), Sam Ahmedu ( and Kunle Solaja (SportsVillage).