The Nigeria Football Federation has revealed plans for a first –ever awards ceremony organized by it to recognize and reward excellence in the Nigerian game.
NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who is chairman of the project, told dignitaries and media representatives in Lagos yesterday that the Federation decided time was ripe for ‘The NFF Awards’ as the stock of Nigerian Football is on the upward trajectory.
“We 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 Lagos State, the Centre of Excellence, and with a Chief Executive (Governor Akinwunmi Ambode) who is a lover of excellence.
“The NFF Awards will be an annual event. The inaugural edition will hold at the Eko Hotel and Suites on Monday, 19th February 2018, and will be graced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, CAF President Ahmad and at least 20 FA Presidents who will be here for the FIFA Executive Football Summit also taking place in Lagos the following day.
“We have an opportunity to showcase Lagos State not only around the Awards, but also at the FIFA EFS meeting for which the State is also partnering the NFF.”
Akinwunmi disclosed that a screening committee that will have integrity, transparency and fairness as its watchwords would be empanelled in a few days, and that while some of the awards will be decided by the screening committee, others would be determined by voters online while the special awards would be the prerogative of the Federation.
He also announced that SuperSport and Africa Independent Television have teamed up with the NFF as broadcast partners of the event, and will take the event live as from 7pm on the evening.
Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Adedayo Tandoh praised the NFF for laudable projects the Federation has been undertaking recently and pledged that Lagos State will continue to support worthwhile endeavours.
“The Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode is determined to make Lagos State not just a hub of sports activities and events, but to prove that sports, tourism and entertainment can intermingle brilliantly to boost the economy of any society.
“Posterity will be kind to the present NFF for the laudable projects they have been involved with and the lofty moves that they have been making to take Nigerian Football to exciting heights.”
Foremost journalist and diarist, Kayode Tijani, offered to provide the NFF with an archive that would greatly boost the project.
Organizers observed a one –minute silence in honour of former Nigeria captain and coach Stephen Keshi (of blessed memory), who would have been 56 on Tuesday, with Akinwunmi noting that it was regrettable “such a great player and coach was never accorded deserved recognition at an Awards ceremony organized by the NFF.”