By Taiye Taiwo
On Thursday, nominees for this year’s Nigeria Pitch Awards were announced during a press conference in Lagos
Shanghai Shenhua forward Odion Ighalo, Al Nassr forward Ahmed Musa and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi have been nominated for the King of the Pitch honour at this year’s Nigeria Pitch Awards.
Following their impressive showings at both club and international level in the last 12 months, the trio have been nominated as potential candidates to succeed Chelsea loanee Victor Moses, who won the same award last year.
For the Queen of the Pitch prize, Barcelona‘s Asisat Oshoala will need to beat off challenges from Shanghai Shengli’s Francisca Ordega and Avaldsnes IL’s Rasheedat Ajibade to defend the title she claimed last year.
Other award categories include Coach of the Year, Club of the Year, Most Valuable Player in the Nigeria Professional Football League, Most Valuable Player in the Nigeria Professional Women’s League, National Team of the Year and Referee of the Year amongst others.
Full nominees list
Goalkeeper of the Year: Ikechuwku Ezenwa [Enyimba/Katsina United], Theophilus Afelokhai [Enyimba], Francis Uzoho [Deportivo La Coruna/Anorthosis].
Striker of the Year: Junior Lokosa [Kano Pillars], Odion Ighalo [Changchun Yatai/Shanghai Shenhua], Ahmed Musa [Al Nassr].
MVP in NPWL: Anam Imo [Nasarawa United], Evelyn Nwabuoku [Rivers Angels], Rasheedat Ajibade [FC Robo].
Queen of the Pitch: Asisat Oshoala [Dalian Quanjian], Francisca Ordega [Atletico Madrid/Shanghai Shengli], Rasheedat Ajibade [FC Robo].
King of the Pitch: Ahmed Musa [Al Nassr], Odion Ighalo [Changchun Yatai/Shanghai Shenhua], Wilfred Ndidi [Leicester City].
Club of the Year: Akwa United, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars.
National Team of the Year: Super Sand Eagles, Super Falcons, Super Eagles.
Referee of the Year: Ogabor Joseph Odey, Adebimpe Quadri, Ferdinand Udoh.
Samuel Okwaraji Award: Kunle Soname [Chairman Remo Stars/Bet9ja], Amaju Pinnick [NFF President], Seyi Akinwunmi [NFF, vice-President].
State with best grassroots football development programme: Delta State, Rivers State, Lagos State.