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Victor Osimhen, Asisat Oshoala, Finidi George, Sanwo-Olu Emerge Winners at 10th Nigeria Pitch Awards

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 … As MTN Nigeria, Alex Iwobi win 

IGP Egbetokun, John Momoh, Ibrahim Gusau also honoured

Victor Osimhen, Napoli FC and Super Eagles forward sensation made history as he starves off competition from teammate, Victor Boniface, Robert Mizo of Bayelsa United and Emeka Obiora of Enyimba International FC to emerge the Striker of the Year and King of the Pitch for the third straight year, making him the first player to achieve this feat on the platform of the prestigious Nigeria Pitch Awards.

Asisat Oshoala, the African Football Queen was voted the Queen of the Pitch ahead of Rasheedat Ajibade of Atlético de Madrid Femenino and Chiamaka Nnadozi, the Paris FC Goalkeeper.

The Award Ceremony began with a very colourful, energetic and exciting dance from the Akwabio Cultural Group. Leading the long list of dignitaries were Ibrahim Musa Gusau, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, the General Secretary of the Federation, CP Patrick Ateyero, the CP Sports of the Nigeria Police Force who was standing in for the Inspector-General of Police, Nigerian Ex-international and the 1997 CAF African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, CP Waheed Ayilara, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr Oluwadare Ojelade, a Director in SIAO Partners, Finidi George and the entire technical crew, all members of the Super Eagles present in Uyo, representives of MTN Nigeria, GTI and other nominees.

The NFF President reiterated the Federation’s support for the Nigerian Pitch Awards while hailing organizers for the transparency and credibility displayed in the award process. Speaking on Nigeria’s 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualification on the heels of the Nigeria – South Africa qualifier match played on the 7th June at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Ibrahim Gusau, while appealing for support and prayers, assured Nigerians of the determination of the Federation and the players to secure a World Cup slot.

Speaking on the award process, Mr Oluwadare, the SIAO representative, stated that voting for the 2023 edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards commenced on Monday 11th December 2023 and closed on Friday 19th January 2024. ‘The results’, he noted, ‘passed through 3 levels of scrutiny: They were collated and reviewed by a team set up specifically to handle this process … A second level of verification was done by another independent unit and’ thirdly ‘Quality Control’s Arm of the firm completes the rigorous but exciting exercise’.

Organizers honoured IGP Kayode Egbetokun, the Inspector-General of Police who pioneered the introduction of football as an event in the finals of the 14th BIPOGA in Ibadan in February 2024. Also honoured were John Momoh, Chairman and CEO of Channels for the Channels Kids Cup initiative and Ibrahim Gusua, the NFF President.

In the Goalkeeper of the Year category, Ojo Olorunleke emerged winner ahead of Amas Obasogie of Bendel Insurance FC and Kayode Bankole of Remo Stars FC. 

Ola Aina, Nottingham Forest FC and Super Eagles left full back was voted Defender of the Year to beat his Super Eagles teammates Calvin Bassey of Fulham FC who won it last year and Bright Osayi-Samuel, Fenerbahçe SK.

Alex Iwobi, in form Fulham FC midfielder emerged Midfielder of the Year ahead of Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City FC defensive midfielder and Al Hassan Yusuf of Royal Antwerp FC.

Super Eagles Manager was voted the Coach of the Year 2023 for his exploits while he was Coach of Enyimba International FC where he led the team to finish top of the NPFL league. 

MTN Nigeria was voted Best Corporate Sponsor of Football 2023 as the brand saw off competition from GTI Financial and Nigeria’s sports betting giant, Bet9ja. 

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State was voted the Football Friendly Governor of the Year while Lagos State emerged the State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme in the country in 2023.

The highly competitive Sam Okwaraji Award for commitment to the development of Nigerian football for 2023 went to Hon. Kunle Soname, the chairman of Remo Stars.

Full Result

Goalkeeper of the Year 

Ojo Olorunleke – Enyimba FC

Defender of the Year 

Ola Aina – Nottingham Forest FC – 

Midfielder of the Year 

Alex Iwobi – Fulham FC

Striker of the Year 

Victor Osimhen – Napoli FC

Queen of the Pitch 

Asisat Oshoala – Bay FC 

King of the Pitch 

Victor Osimhen – Napoli FC

Team of the Year             

Enyimba International FC                     

Coach of the Year 

Finidi George – Enyimba FC

Sam Okwaraji Award 

Kunle Soname – Chairman, Remo Stars

State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme 

Lagos State

Football Pitch of the Year 

Godswill Akpabio Int’l Stadium

Football Friendly Governor of the Year 

His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu – Lagos State 

Best Corporate Sponsor of Football Award 

MTN Nigeria

Sportsmanship Award 

Hon. Kunle Soname – Chairman, Remo Stars FC

Football Journalist of the Year – Print 

Johnny Edward – Punch Newspapers

Football Journalist of the Year – Tv 

Mozez Praiz – Supersport

Football Journalist of the Year – Radio 

Anthony Bekederemo – Brila 88.9 FM

Football Journalist of the Year – Online 

Tobi Adepoju – Oganla Media

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