The nominees for the 4th edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards are now known, after SIAO Partners Limited, the collating and verification firm, released the results to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
In a letter to the NFF President dated 11th May 2017, and signed by the Managing Partner, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, the auditing firm explained that the voting was done by Nigeria sports editors/managers across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, between 5th – 23rd April 2017.
“The votes were collated and verified by our team of Auditors. We pride ourselves as one of the best accounting and audit firms operating in Nigeria. We have approached this collation process with extreme care and with the standard professional ethics required to sustain the core values of transparency, credibility and integrity. We therefore take professional responsibility for the integrity of the results presented,” stated the letter from SIAO.
There are 18 categories in all, with three nominees for each category. Three –time FIFA World Cup star Vincent Enyeama tops the Goalkeeper of the Year category, while France –based striker Desire Oparanozie leads two other Super Falcons in the race for Queen of the Pitch, and NPFL Club, FC IfeanyiUbah owner, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah is nominated for the Sam Okwaraji Award, alongside Super Eagles’ captain John Mikel Obi and Nigeria’s 2016 Olympic Team Head Coach, Samson Siasia.
Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel is nominated for Football Friendly Governor of the Year alongside Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos and Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers, while Ferdinand Aniete Udoh leads the Referee of the Year category that also has FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup veteran Jelili Ogunmuyiwa and Adebimpe Quadri.
Ade Ojeikere, group sports editor of The Nation newspapers is in the race for Football Journalist of the Year (Print) while Mozez Praiz of SuperSport heads the race for Football Journalist of the Year (TV).
The 4th Nigeria Pitch Awards ceremony comes up in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, 10th June 2017, hours after the Nigeria/South Africa 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match of the same day.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Vincent Enyeama; Carl Ikeme; Ikechukwu Ezenwa
Defender of the Year: Leon Balogun; Kenneth Omeruo; William Ekong
Midfielder of the Year: John Mikel Obi; Etebo Oghenekaro; Wilfred Ndidi
Striker of the Year: Chisom Egbuchulam; Godwin Obaje; Kelechi Iheanacho
MVP (Men) In The NPFL: Godwin Obaje; Stephen Odey; Chisom Egbuchulam
MVP (Women) In The NWPL: Osinachi Ohale; Rafiat Sule; Chioma Wogu
Queen of the Pitch: Desire Oparanozie; Onome Ebi; Asisat Oshoala
King of the Pitch: Victor Moses; John Mikel Obi; Kelechi Iheanacho
Sam Okwaraji Award: Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah; Samson Siasia; John Mikel Obi
Club/Team of the Year: Super Falcons; Dream Team; Enugu Rangers
Coach of the Year: Florence Omagbemi; Gernot Rohr; Imama Amapakabo
Referee of the Year: Adebimpe Quadri; Jelili Ogunmuyiwa; Ferdinand Udoh
Corporate Sponsor of the Year: Globacom Limited; SuperSport; Nigeria Breweries PLC
State with Best Grassroots Football Development Program: Delta State; Lagos State; Akwa Ibom State
Football Friendly Governor of the Year: Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos)
Football Journalist of the Year (Radio): Bimbo Adeola; Olawale Adigun; Arafat Aliu
Football Journalist of the Year (Print): Tobi Emmanuel; Tana Aiyejina; Ade Ojeikere
Football Journalist of the Year (TV): Mozez Praiz (SuperSport); Austin Okon-Akpan (Channels TV); Toyin Ibitoye (Channels TV)