Nigeria senior men’s national team goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Super Galcons striker Asisat Oshoala were conferred with King and Queen of the Pitch titles respectively at the sophomore edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards on Saturday.
The gala for the 2014 season, held shortly after Nigeria’s 2-0 victory over Chad in Kaduna, had eminent Nigerian football stakeholders in attendance.
CSKA Moskow forward Ahmed Musa claimed the Striker of the Year prize ahead of Ikechukwu Uche and Enyimba International FC striker Mfon Udoh. Ogenyi Onazi, who has since apologised for his dissent during the win over Chad, was named Midfielder of the Year, while Keneth Omeruo of Chelsea FC scooped the Defender of the Year prize.
Enyeama retained his Best Goalkeeper’s prize from the maiden edition to add to his King of the Pitch prize.
Ferdinand Udo was named Referee of the Year, John Shittu; Players’ Agent of the Year and Felix Anyansi-Agwu Of Enyimba FC; Manager of the Year.
In other categories, Senator Liyel Imoke, former Governor of Cross River State picked up the Football Friendly Governor for 2014 and Lagos State, for the second time running, won the State with the Best Graasroots Football Development Programme.
The media category saw Tana Aiyejina of Punch emerge as the Football Journalist of the Year in the Print Category. Toyin Ibitoye of Channels TV and Bimbo Adeola of Star FM won the TV and Radio categories.
Creme de la Creme in attendance
Among dignitaries at the event were NFF President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF 2nd Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko, NFF Executive Committee members High Chief Emeka Inyama, Barrister Chris Green, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, Alhaji Babagana Kalli and Alhaji Ahmad Kawu, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, and other top brass of the NFF. Barrister Dan Abia, the MD/CEO of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Managing Partner of SIAO Partners, Bassey Eyo of Payporte.com, Amb. Ebi Egbe and the BBA Runners Up, Tayo Faniran also graced the occasion.
Addressing the large crowd at the ceremony, NFF President Amaju Pinnick restated the Federation’s commitment to give the organisers all the support that is needed to grow the Nigeria Pitch Awards into a world class football event. While speaking on the award process, Pastor Ighodalo, whose audit firm coordinated the voting process, stated that the process was transparent and credible as it reflected the wish of the voters. He said the breakdown of the results would be published after the results were announced.
Chairman of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh was honoured with the Special Recognition in Football Award for his contributions to the development of football through the National Channels Kids Competition and Super Eagles’ Head Coach Stephen Keshi who attended the ceremony along with all his technical and backroom staff, received the Football Achievement Award.
Chief Executive Officer of Matchmakers Comsult International, organizers of the Pitch Awards, Mr. Shina Philips, thanked God for the success of the ceremony.