Super Eagles and Leicester City FC midfield sensation, Wilfred Ndidi and Super Falcons and FC Barcelona Femeni hit woman, Asisat Oshoala emerged the King and the Queen of the Pitch for year 2019 respectively at the 7th edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards.
Daniel Akpeyi of Kaizer Chiefs and Watford defender, William Troost-Ekong emerged Goalkeeper and Defender of the Year in their different categories. Wilfred Ndidi confirmed his position as the Super Eagles’ midfield maestro by dusting off competition from Joe Aribo of Rangers FC and Oghenekaro Etebo of Stoke City FC to retain the Midfielder of the Year award.
In the Striker of the Year Category, Super Eagles and Napoli FC striker, Victor Osimhen starved off competition from Odion Ighalo of Manchester United and Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal FC. Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF First Vice President won the Sam Okwaraji Award for Commitment to Nigeria Football; Gernot Rohr emerged 2019 Coach of the Year; Enyimba International emerged Team of the Year and AITEO Group carted home the coveted Corporate Sponsor of Football Award for 2019.
Making the announcement on Tuesday 22 December 2020 at the Ibis Hotel Ikeja, Lagos, organizers noted that the 7th Award Ceremony initially scheduled to hold in March 2020 was put off in line with the guidelines of the COVID-19 Protocol as outlined by the Presidential Task Force set up by the Federal Government.
Mr Demola Olajire, NFF Communications Director reiterated the Federation’s support for the awards stressing that the organizers have been resilient and committed to holding the event year after year.
Highlights include the appearance of two top Nollywood celebrities Chioma Omeruwa popularly known as Chigul and Segun Arinze.
The maiden Sportsmanship Award was presented to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu for his use of sports in the fight against crime and his sportsman’s attributes in the discharge of his duties as Nigeria’s Police Chief.
Delta State Governor, His Excellency Ifeanyi Okowa won the Football Friendly Governor for the second year while Lagos State emerged winner of the State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme.
In the media category, Johnny Edwards of The Punch won the Football Journalist of the Year – Print category while Olawale Adigun of Top Radio FM emerged winner of the Radio category. In the TV and Online categories, Channels TV Sports Editor Austin Okon-Akpan and Goal.com Samuel Ahmadu won respectively.
Voting on the platform of the Nigeria Pitch Awards is done by over 100 sports editors and journalists across the 36 states of the country. Votes cast are collated and audited by a professional accounting body.