By Demola Ojo
The inaugural edition of the NFF Football Awards, supported by partners AITEO and host city Lagos, will hold tomorrow at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island. The awards will be the first time that the Nigeria Football Federation will organize a ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian football space.
Awards will be presented to winners in numerous categories including 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 and Platinum Award categories.
There will also be special recognition of a â€˜Legends Eleven,â€™ a squad of outstanding former Nigeria international players.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, due to open the FIFA Executive Football Summit in Lagos the next day, is expected to grace the ceremony alongside CAF President Ahmad, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, the CAF top hierarchy and presidents of about 20 Member Associations of FIFA.
In attendance will also be a large selection of Nigeriaâ€™s football legends, including former captains Christian Chukwu, Olusegun Odegbami, Daniel Amokachi, Mutiu Adepoju, Uche Okechukwu, Garba Lawal, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Joseph Yobo.
NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who is also Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Awards, told thenff.com during the week that voting by selected voters is going on across the country, after nominations were compiled for the various award categories by a screening committee.
â€œI can tell you that all arrangements have been tidied up and we are looking forward to a truly big day. The NFF decided it was the right time to launch a project to recognize and reward excellence in Nigerian Football.
â€œFortunately, we found a worthy partner in the Government of Lagos State and also our major partner, AITEO,â€ he said as he revealed that the NFF Awards will be an annual event.
Top officials of the Lagos State Government, Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Members of NFF Congress, officials of the Lagos State FA, NFF partners and sponsors, former NFF Presidents, former NFF General Secretaries, Chairmen of NPFL clubs and members of the diplomatic corp are also expected.