All is now set for the second edition of the AITEO-NFF Football Awards ceremony which will take place at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Monday evening. The AITEO-NFF Football Awards is an annual event that rewards the best performers in the Nigerian Football industry over a period of 12 months, and debuted to much applause and accolades last year.
Chairman of the Awards Committee and NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, confirmed on Thursday that the Secretary –General of world football –governing body, FIFA, Ms Fatma Samoura has confirmed her arrival in Nigeria for the big event.
Sources also informed that about 20 Presidents of Member Associations of FIFA and CAF have been invited from across the African continent.
Chieftains of sponsors AITEO (Nigeria’s leading energy solution company) led by Deputy Managing Director, Francis Peters, will grace Monday’s showpiece.
Already, about six State Governors have been invited, alongside Nigeria’s Sports Minister Solomon Dalung. The occasion will also be graced by Board Members of the NFF, Members of the NFF Congress, Members of NFF Management, representatives of NFF sponsors and partners, chairmen of various football Clubs, members of the diplomatic corps, past NFF Presidents and General Secretaries, award nominees and their friends. A number of renown stakeholders and oaks of the entertainment industry will also be in the auditorium on Monday night.
Leading television stations, SuperSport and Africa Independent Television (AIT) will broadcast the event live.
It was learnt on Thursday that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura (the first woman holder of that exalted position and a proud daughter of the African continent) will receive special awards at the occasion.
When it debuted last year, it marked the first time that the nation’s football –governing body was organizing an Awards ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian Football space.
On Monday, gongs will be presented to winners in Player of the Year (men), Player of the Year (women), Coach of the Year (men), Coach of the Year (women), Young Player of the Year (men), Young Player of the Year (women), Team of the Season, Fairplay Award, Goal of the Season, Fans of the Season, NFF Development Award, NFF Order of Merit Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Platinum Award categories.
Also, there will be special recognition of a ‘Legends Eleven,’ a squad of outstanding former Nigeria international players. Last year’s gong went to the 1973 set of Green Eagles that won Nigeria’s first major honour – the gold medal of the football event of the 2nd All-Africa Games that held in Lagos.
Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Barrister Akinwunmi also confirmed that this year’s honour will go to the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994 – the team that qualified Nigeria for her first –ever FIFA World Cup finals, won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time on away ground and spectacularly reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup finals in USA.
LAST YEAR’S AWARD WINNERS
Young Player of the Year (Women): Rasheedat Ajibade
Young Player of the Year (Men): Ikouwem Udoh
Fair Play Award: Remo Stars FC
Fans of the Season: El-Kanemi Warriors FC Fans
Coach of the Year (Women): Ann Chiejine
Coach of the Year (Men): Kennedy Boboye
Goal of the Year: Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC)
Team of the Season: Plateau United FC
NFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels Kids’ Cup)
Legends Eleven: Ann Chiejine, Austin Eguavoen, Felix Owolabi, Nwankwo Kanu, Christian Chukwu, Uche Okechukwu, Segun Odegbami, Mercy Akide-Udoh, Thompson Usiyen, Augustine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Adokiye Amiesimaka
Special Recognition: Nigeria’s 1973 All-Africa Games Gold Medallists
Platinum Award: Gianni Infantino