The Nigeria Football Federation has reiterated its strong backing for the Nigeria Pitch Awards, as a world press conference that was organised in Lagos on Wednesday heralded the third edition of the Awards, taking place in Kaduna on Friday, March 25.

NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, who stood in for the General Secretary, said the federation is proud to be associated with the Nigeria Pitch Awards that “has become a rallying point for all football stakeholders. Our resolve to support the Nigeria Pitch Awards has been further strengthened by the reports and feedbacks which we have received about the conduct of the organizers and their interaction with the football community.

“We are proud to state that the process put in place by the organisers has been generally described as credible and transparent. The organizers have continued to maintain these core principles and this is why the nominees and winners have continued to enjoy public acceptance,” he stated, while calling on all Nigerians to join hands with Matchmakers Consult International Limited to take the Awards to new and enviable heights.

In his welcome remarks, President of Matchmakers Consult International Limited, Mr. Shina Philips, hailed the NFF, the media and all workers in football for their tremendous support over the years.
“In spite of challenges, we have remained resolute and focused on the core values which can sustain any Awards.

We have carefully elected to identify and associate ourselves with those organizations and bodies which share our values in order to sustain the life and integrity of the Awards.” Philips also announced that in response to popular demand, organisers have introduced five new categories:
. Rashidi Yekini Award (for the highest goalscorer in the Nigeria Professional Football League)
. Most Valuable Player (Men) in the Nigeria Professional Football League
. Most Valuable Player (Women) in the Nigeria Professional Football League
. Corporate Sponsor of Football Award

. The Sam Okwaraji Award (for commitment to Nigeria football)
He added: “We have confidence in the professional input of SIAO Partners and we are proud to be associated with all those who have identified with us,” while restating the company’s commitment to transparency and integrity.

Also at the press conference were President of SIAO, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo who reeled out the nominees in each of the 21 award categories; Tunde Meshioye (marketing manager, Bet9ja); Felix Awogu (General Manager, West Africa, SuperSport); ex-international Tajudeen Disu; SIAO project director Nneka Eneli; Players’ Union secretary Austin Popo and; Nelson Olafisoye, chief operating officer of Matchmakers Consult International.