Reigning African Footballer of the Year and Napoli Striker, Victor Osimhen, Bayern Leverkusen forward, Victor Boniface and reigning African Women Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala top the list of nominees unveiled by organizers of the nation’s longest running football awards, the Nigeria Pitch Awards, at a well-attended Press Conference held in Lagos on Thursday.

The Napoli forward Victor Osimhen got the most nominations, including the ‘Striker of the Year’, ‘King of the Year’, ‘Sam Okwaraji’, and ‘Sportsmanship of the year awards.

Victor Boniface of Bayern Leverkusen of Germany who missed the just concluded AFCON due to injuries sustained on the eve of continental soccer event, garnered two got two nominations, while serial African Women Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala also got a nomination

In the Goalkeeper of the Year category, Kayode Bankole (Remo Stars FC), Amas Obasogie (Bendel Insurance FC) and Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC) made the shortlist while Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC), Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest FC) and Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahçe SK) were named in the Defender of the Year category.

The competition in the Midfielder of the Year pitched AI Hassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp FC) against Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City FC) and Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC). Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United) NPFL top goal scoring machine last season will compete for the Striker of the Year Award with Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC) and Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen).

In the Queen of the Pitch category, Rasheedat Ajibade, Atlético de Madrid Femenino and Super Falcon winger will attempt to starve of competition from Chiamaka Nnadozie, the Paris FC and Best Woman Goalkeeper in Africa and reigning African Women Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala who is also the reigning Queen of the Pitch.

The Nigeria Pitch Award has emerged as the longest running football awards in the country and one of the few audited awards in Africa. The award process, which has been described as transparent and credible is dependent of votes by over 100 sport editors across the country. Voting which takes place online is coordinated by SIAO Partners, an indigenous accounting and auditing firm.

Speaking at the 10th anniversary rendezvous, the President of Nigeria Pitch Awards, Shina Phillips, said that the event would be a

“First, I thank God that we have gone this far, and this is the 10th edition. We have reeled out the programmes for this unique celebration.

“We are also glad with the richness of the nominees, which was released by our partners in charge of the collation. We believe that the 10th edition will be a special one.

“Those that have gotten the awards are deserving and were given them on merit. We have done our best to see that the winners are adjudged to be the best and that the platform remains incontrovertible.

“We believe that the 10th edition will attract more Nigerians. It is important that we celebrate our heroes, and it is also important that we have a platform that can reward them for their sacrifice.”

2023 Nigeria Pitch Awards: Full List of Nominees

Goalkeeper of the Year:
– Kingdom Osayi (Doma United FC)
– Amas Obasoge (Bendel Insurance FC)
– Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba International FC)

Defender of the Year:
– Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC England)
– Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest, England)
– Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahçe, Turkey)

Midfielder of the Year:
– Yusuf Al-Hassan (Royal Antwerp, Belgium)
– Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England)
– Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England)

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Striker of the Year:
– Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United FC)
– Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy)
– Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

Sam Okwaraji Award:
– Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy)
– Ahmed Musa (Sivasspor, Turkey)
– Kunle Soname (Chairman, Remo Star)

Queen of the Pitch:
– Rasheedat Ajibade (Atlético Madrid, Spain)
– Chiamaka Nnadozie (French Division 1 Féminine)
– Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona FC, Féminine, Spain)

King of the Pitch:
– Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy)
– Emeka Obiora (Shooting Stars SC)
– Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

Team of the Year:
– Super Falcons
– Enyimba International FC
– Remo Stars FC

Coach of the Year:
– Daniel Ogunmodede (Remo Stars FC)
– Finidi George (Enyimba International FC)
– Randy Waldrum (Super Falcon)

State with the Best Grassroots Football Development Programme:
– Edo State
– Delta State
– Lagos State

Football Friendly Governor of the Year:
– Pastor Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom)
– Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos)
– Godwin Obaseki (Edo)

Football Pitch of the Year:
– Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan
– Remo Stars Stadium

Media category:
Football Journalist of the Year (Print):
– Christopher Okparah (The Guardian)
– Charles Diya (New Telegraph)
– Johnny Edward (Punch)

Football Journalist of the Year (TV):
– Myen Akiri (TVc)
– Moses Praiz (Super Sports)
– Cecilia Omoregie (Channels TV)

Football Journalist of the Year (Radio):
– Olawale Adigun (Mainland FM)
– Olayinka Oyedele (Brilla Sport)
– Anthony Berekederemo (Brilla FM)

Football Journalist of the Year (Online):
– Samuel Amidu (Savid News)
– Tobi Adepoju (Oganla Media)
– Kunle Solaja (Sportsvillagesquare)

Corporate category:
Corporate Sponsor of Football Award:
– Bet9ja
– GTI Financial

Sportsmanship Award:
– Kunle Soname
– Victor Osimhen (Napoli FC, Italy)
– Gbenga Elegbeleye (NPFL)