Embattled Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, Genk hitman Paul Onuachu and Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester City are in the frame for the top honour at the 8th edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards ceremony in March 2022.
The players led the pack of stars nominated by the accredited pool of voters considered for awards in various segments of the event.
Although the organisers of the prestigious award have yet to pick the venue of the ceremony expected to attract who-is-who in the cirdle of Nigerian football.
At the unveiling of the nominees for the award on Wednesday at Ibis Hotels Ikeja, Lagos, Super Eagles’ frontline stars dominated the list of the voters.
The three national team goalkeepers, Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs, Enyimba’s goaltender, John Noble, and Sparta Rotterdam keeper, Maduka Okoye are to slug it out in the Goalkeeper of the Year Award category as Ilosa Ndah of Orland Pirates, William Troost-Ekong of Watford of England and Leon Balogun of Glasgow Rangers battle for Defender of the Year marble.
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Enterprising Joe Aribo of Rangers, Frank Onyeka of Brentford, and Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City are nominees for the Midfielder of the Year award, while Osimhen, Onuachu, and Iheanacho contest the Striker and the King of the Pitch of the Year awards.
Bayelsa United, Rivers United, and Akwa United are in the race for the team of the Year as Diepreye Telbowei, Edwin Okon, and Kennedy Boboye fight for coach of the year.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and Nyesom Wike of River state were nominated for the football-friendly governor of the year award.
Super Falcons Gift Monday, Azisat Oshoala, and Uchenna Kalu have been nominated for the Queen of the Pitch award.
Speaking at the briefing to unveil the nominees, Shina Phillips, expressed gratitude to the college of voters for making the award worthwhile in the last eight years.
“The journey to the 8th edition of the awards is the story of the determination of all stakeholders to create and sustain a reward platform for our footballers, administrators, and football lovers and supporters. We express our appreciation to the Presidency, the Ministry of Sports and Youth development, the Nigeria Football Federation, our college of voters, the Nigerian media, and all nominees and award winners on this platform.”
“At our inaugural briefing in 2012, we stated that the Nigeria Pitch Awards platform offers Nigerians more than awards to deserving footballers in continuing with this vision to offer more to improve sports in Nigeria. We are pleased to announce ab annual symposium on sports.”
“The symposium which will precede the annual Award Ceremony will attract local and international speakers. Our vision is to make the gathering a unique opportunity to renew and re-focus national attention on sports in Nigeria and open up avenues for administrators to harness the opportunities sports provide. We will outline more details of this project in the coming months.”