Premier League club Chelsea’s winger, Victor Moses, Super Eagles Captain and midfielder for Chinese club Tianjin TEDA, John Mikel Obi, were on Wednesday nominated for the Nigeria Pitch Awards for 2017/2018.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the awards in its 5th edition will hold later in the month in Lagos.
Other nominees for the awards are Ikechukwu Ezenwa of FC Ifeanyi Ubah of Nnewi, Anambra, Leon Balogun, FSV Mainz 05, Germany, Wilfred Ndidi – Leicester City FC of England, and Carl Ikeme of England’s Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Dele Ajiboye of Plateau United FC of Jos, William Troost-Ekong of Bursaspor, Turkey, Shehu Abdullahi of Anothosis Famagusta FC, Anthony Okpotu – Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi and Odion Ighalo – Changchun Yatai.
Fidelis Elechukwu of MFM FC, Gernot Rohr of Super Eagles and Kennedy Boboye of Plateau United were nominated for the Coach of the Year Award.
The rest are Stephen Odey – MFM FC/FC Zurich, Charity Rueben- Ibom Angels, Rasheedat Ajibade – FC Robo and Amarachi Okonkwo – Nasarawa Amazons.
Also for the Sam Okwaraji Award for Commitment to Nigerian Football, Amaju Pinnick, President, NFF, Shehu Dikko – 2nd Vice-President, NFF and Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, Chairman, FC Ifeanyi Ubah were equally nominated.
For State with the Best grace root development programme include Lagos State, Rivers State and Delta State.
Mr Shina Philips, Nigeria Pitch Award’s President, disclosed that the awards had continued to grow to become a significant part of the football calendar in spite of challenges.
He noted that challenges such as securing sponsorship and partnership did not deterred the organisation’s resolve to make the awards an essential part of the nation’s football culture.
“The Nigeria Pitch Awards is a platform for recognising, rewarding and celebrating talented and industrious footballers and other stakeholders in Nigerian football.
“Since the introduction of the awards five years ago, it has continued to grow to become a significant and essential part of our football society,’’ he said.
The president of the award added that he was grateful for all partners and all corporate bodies that had identified with the award since the project began.
“We thank the Federal Ministry of Sports and Nigeria Football Federation for their immense support.
“We thank SIAO Partners, Nigeria’s foremost accounting firm for being our independent vote collation body for displaying professionalism in the collation of results and the entire voting process.
“We are also buoyed by the responses we have received from sports journalists, Nigerian footballers and administrators,’’ he said.
Chairperson, Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode, congratulated the organisers of the award, saying that it would build the confidence of young people in the nation’s football.
“The Nigerian youths can be engaged through entertainment and sports with football being the most enticing when it comes to sports,’’ she said.
Mr Buri Olugbami, an official of SIAO Partners, said that SIAO recognised the potential of football and its impact in providing youth development.