• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Finidi, Osimhen, Oshoala shine at 10th Nigeria Pitch Awards

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Super Eagles coach Finidi George, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, and Super Falcons forward Asisat Oshoala were among the big winners at the 10th Nigeria Pitch Awards held in Uyo over the weekend.

Victor Osimhen, the dynamic Super Eagles forward, made history by winning both the Striker of the Year and King of the Pitch awards for the third consecutive year. This achievement makes him the first player to secure these honours three times in a row at the prestigious Nigeria Pitch Awards.

Osimhen outperformed competitors such as Victor Boniface, Robert Mizo of Bayelsa United, and Emeka Obiora of Enyimba International FC.

Finidi was recognised as the Coach of the Year 2023 for his outstanding work with Enyimba International FC, where he led the team to finish at the top of the NPFL league.

Oshoala, renowned as the African Football Queen, was named Queen of the Pitch. She surpassed Rasheedat Ajibade of Atlético de Madrid Femenino and Chiamaka Nnadozi, the Paris FC goalkeeper, to claim the title.

Oluwadare Ojelade, a representative from SIAO Partners, explained that the voting process for the 2023 Nigeria Pitch Awards commenced on December 11, 2023, and concluded on January 19, 2024. The results underwent a three-level scrutiny process to ensure accuracy and fairness.

In other award categories, Ojo Olorunleke was named Goalkeeper of the Year, defeating Amas Obasogie of Bendel Insurance FC and Kayode Bankole of Remo Stars FC. Ola Aina of Nottingham Forest FC was voted Defender of the Year, surpassing his Super Eagles teammates Calvin Bassey and Bright Osayi-Samuel. Alex Iwobi of Fulham FC won Midfielder of the Year, ahead of Wilfred Ndidi and Al Hassan Yusuf.

MTN Nigeria was awarded Best Corporate Sponsor of Football 2023, while Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State, was named Football Friendly Governor of the Year. Lagos State was also recognized for having the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme in 2023. The Sam Okwaraji Award for commitment to the development of Nigerian football was given to Hon. Kunle Soname, chairman of Remo Stars.

The organizers also honoured notable individuals such as IGP Kayode Egbetokun for introducing football as an event in the 14th BIPOGA finals, John Momoh, Chairman and CEO of Channels, for the Channels Kids Cup initiative, and NFF President Ibrahim Gusau.

NFF President Ibrahim Musa Gusau reaffirmed the Federation’s support for the Nigeria Pitch Awards and praised the organizers for their transparent and credible award process.