By Albert Akota
There is huge excitement and expectation in the Nigerian Football firmament as the inaugural edition of the NFF Football Awards, supported by partners AITEO as Sponsors and Lagos State as Host City, holds at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Monday, 19th February 2018.
It is the first time that the nation’s football –governing body is organizing an Awards ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian Football space.
Gongs will be presented to winners in Player of the Year (men), Player of the Year (women), Coach of the Year (men), Coach of the Year (women), Young Player of the Year (men), Young Player of the Year (women), Team of the Season, Fairplay Award, Goal of the Season, Fans of the Season, NFF Development Award and Platinum Award categories.
There will be special recognition of a ‘Legends Eleven,’ a squad of outstanding former Nigeria international players.
The Awards ceremony will also be attended by a large selection of Nigeria football legends, including former captains Christian Chukwu, Olusegun Odegbami, Daniel Amokachi, Mutiu Adepoju, Uche Okechukwu, Garba Lawal, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Joseph Yobo.
NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who is also Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Awards, he said yesterday that voting is presently ongoing by selected voters across the country, after nominations were compiled for the various award categories by a screening committee.
“I can tell you that all arrangements have been tidied up and we are looking forward to a truly big day. The NFF decided it was the right time to launch a project to recognize and reward excellence in Nigerian Football.
“Fortunately, we found a worthy partner in the Government of Lagos State and also our major partner, AITEO,” he stated, declaring that the NFF Awards will be an annual event.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, due to open the FIFA Executive Football Summit in the same facility less than 24 hours later, is expected to grace the ceremony alongside CAF President Ahmad, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, the CAF top hierarchy and presidents of about 20 Member Associations of FIFA.
Top officials of the Lagos State Government, Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Members of NFF Congress, officials of the Lagos State FA, NFF partners and sponsors, former NFF Presidents, former NFF General Secretaries, Chairmen of NPFL clubs and members of the diplomatic corp are also expected.
Venue is the Grand Ballroom of the Eko Hotels & Suites, with cocktails slated for 6pm and live telecast to begin at 7pm.