Organisers of the Nigeria Pitch Awards have unveiled a road map leading to the award ceremony which will hold on 26 March, 2022.
According to Matchmakers Consult International and SIAO Partners, preparation for the 8th edition of the award will begin in the last week of October, 2021 with the voting process which has been reserved exclusively to members of Nigerian sporting press since the first edition.
“As in previous editions, voting forms and criteria will be mailed to voters and collation will be done by SIAO Partners. The 8th Award Ceremony is tentatively fixed for Saturday 26 March, 2022. We will announce the venue at a later date,” said the President of Nigeria Pitch Award, Shina Phillips.
While unveiling major highlights of the 8th edition of the awards which is designed to honour Nigerian former and present sports people, administrators and journalists in recognition of their positive contributions to sports in Nigeria, Phillips, a FIFA licenced football agent and security expert said: “During the award ceremony, there will be presentation of Special Achievement in Sports Award to Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari, the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for her hosting of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament. She has become Africa’s champion for the advancement of the rights of the girl child to social, economic and political development on the continent.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Akali Baba Usman will be honoured with the Sportsmanship Award for the introduction of ‘Operation Restore Peace’ in the South-East and South-South. This peace move effectively doused tension between the police and the citizens and ushered in a new wave of police-citizen partnership in the fight against criminality in the region. IGP Akali’s is also a passionate supporter of sports as he demonstrated during the biennial Police Games in Akwa in 2020.
Others to be honoured are Mr. Daniel Amokachi, ‘The Bull’, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sports who played a pivotal and historic role in Nigeria’s first FIFA World Cup appearance and Mr. Amaju Pinnick, president of Nigeria Football Federation for his contributions to the advancement of Nigerian football and for his representation of the country at the highest level of world football,’ he said.
The award was initiated with 16 categories until March 10, 2016 when six categories were added
The first edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards was held on November 16, 2013 at the Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel in Calabar, Cross River State with notable sports and government personalities in attendance.
The 2nd Nigeria Pitch Awards ceremony was held on June 13, 2015 in Abuja following a change in the schedule which was originally slated to hold on May 6, 2015 in Lagos. The ceremony saw Vincent Enyeama, Toyin Ibitoye, Bimbo Adeola and Felix Anyansi-Agwu retain Goalkeeper of the Year, Football Journalist of the Year (TV), Football Journalist of the Year (Radio) and Manager of the Year award respectively.
The 3rd Nigeria Pitch Awards ceremony was held on March 25, 2016, at Hotel Seventeen in Kaduna. At the ceremony, Assisat Oshoala and Tana Aiyejina of the Ounch newspapers retained their awards as Queen of the Pitch and Football Journalist of the Year.
The ceremony was witnessed by The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barr. Solomon Dalong, the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, NFF 2nd Vice President, Shehu Dikko and other board members.
Also present were Sir Mike Okiro, Chairman, Police Service Commission, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Managing Partner, SIAO Partners, Kunle Soname, Chairman, Bet9ja, Super Eagles Interim Coach, Samson Siasia, Super Eagles Captain, Mikel John Obi and all members of the Super Eagles and coaching crew.