The organizers of Nigeria’s longest-running football awards brand, Nigeria Pitch Awards, have commenced in earnest, preparations for the hosting of the 10th edition of the awards. The Awards which made its debut in 2013 in Calabar, capital of Cross River State, has honoured hundreds of Nigerian footballers across 16 categories in the last decade.
Mr. Shina Philips, the President of Nigeria Pitch Awards, stated in Abuja on Monday that the Nigeria Pitch Awards had been consistent as a platform for recognizing and rewarding talent, industry and patriotism among footballers and other officials.
“The awards platform has created opportunities for footballers, football administrators, managers/coaches, referees, journalists and other critical stakeholders to get recognition and honour for their talent, hardwork and commitment to the development of the beautiful game.
“Since the maiden edition in 2013, we have given out over 170 awards to deserving players and officials at award ceremonies held in Calabar, Kaduna, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Lagos and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.”
Philips enthused about the diligence and sincerity that have imbued the Pitch Awards with its good name over the past 10 years: “We have laid down a voting system founded on our core principles of integrity, transparency and honesty. Despite the dearth of sponsors, we have continued to weather the storm in order to sustain our commitment to the ideals and principles behind the awards.”
The Nigeria Pitch Awards is an annual event which rewards the nation’s best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward, manager and Nigeria’s overall best men and women footballers. Other categories include the State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme, Football-Friendly Governor, Sam Okwaraji Award for Commitment to Nigeria Football, Corporate Sponsor of Football Award and Football Journalist of the Year Awards for the best Print, TV, Radio and Online journalists.
Activities for the 10th edition of the Awards will kick off with a media parley on Monday, 13th November and Wednesday, 6th December in Lagos and Abuja respectively. Voting is scheduled to begin on December 4, 2023 and end on January 12, 2024. The 10th Award Ceremony will hold in March 2024.