Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has been nominated for both the King of the Pitch and Striker of the Year award at the prestigious Nigeria Pitch Awards, reports Completesports.com.
The was made known in a press conference held in Lagos on Thursday.
The Pitch Awards is one of Nigeria’s glamorous sports awards events staged annually to reward key players in the country’s football sector and it is sanctioned by the Nigeria Football Federation.
Ighalo who has scored six goals in six appearances for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League this season is up against Ahmed Musa and Wilfred Ndidi for the award.
The 31-year-old will also battle Junior Lokosa and Ahmed Musa for the Striker of the Year award.
Barcelona’s forward, Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega, and Rasheedat Ajibade were nominated for the Queen of the Pitch award.
The trio of Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Theophilus Afelokhai and Francis Uzoho were shortlisted for the Goalkeeper of the Year award while Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong and Kenneth Omeruo got nominated for the Defender of the Year award.
For the Midfielder of the Year award, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi were nominated for the award just as Junior Lokosa, Mfon Udoh and Godwin Aguda are in contention for Nigerian Professional Football League MVP award for 2018/19.
Anam Imo, Evelyn Nwabuoku, and Rasheedat Ajibade were nominated for the MVP award in the Nigerian Women’s Football League for 2018/19.
Gbenga Ogunbote, Thomas Dennerby and Solomon Ogbeide were shortlisted for the Coach of the Year award while Akwa United Enugu Rangers and Lobi Stars are vying for the Club of the Year award.
The Super Eagles, Super Sand Eagles and the Super Falcons are in the running for the National Team of the Year award while Kunle Soname, President of the Nigerian Football Federation Amaju Pinnick and the first vice Chairman Seyi Akinwunmi got nominated for the Samuel Okwaraji Award.
Meanwhile, Complete Sports ace reporter, Johnny Edward was nominated for the Football Journalist of the Year award.
Johnny, twice nominated for the award in 2015 and 2016 will battle for the top prize alongside Punch’s Tana Aiyejina and Tunde Liadi of The Nation.
George Essien of Comfort FM, Brila FM’s Tony Bekederemo and Olawale Adigun of Top Radio were shortlisted for the Football Journalist of the Year award radio category.
Mozeez Praiz, Cecelia Omoregbe and Austin Okon-Akpan were the nominees for the Football Journalist of the Year award TV.
Tobi Adepoju of naijafootballplus.com, Sam Ahmadu’s Goal.com and Kunle Solaja of sportsvillagesquare.com were shortlisted for Football Journalist of the Year award online category.
Speaking at the event, Shina Philips, President of the Nigeria Pitch Awards, expressed the gratitude of the organizers and award partners to all sports journalists, the Nigeria Football Federation and SIAO Partners for their support for the awards since 2013.
Mr. Philips stated that organizers were working on a plan to overhaul the organization specifically with a view to reducing the number of categories.
“We are planning a major reorganization with respect to the number of categories we have. By next edition, we will certainly have fewer categories. We believe this will make it easier for our voters to complete their votes,” Philips said.
Nneka Eneli, Head of Corporate Services who represented Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, the Managing Partner of SIAO Partners said the shortlist of potential winners was drawn from the votes cast by sport journalists across the country between February and March 2019.
“Voting for the 6th edition of the awards took place between 1st February and 1st March 2019. We assure all voters of the Nigeria Pitch Awards that their votes have been adequately captured and the results you will get today are the wishes of all who voted.
“Let me stress again that the entire process was professionally handled by our team of accountants and auditors without any form of interference from the organizers or sponsors,” Eneli said.
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