Chairman of the organising committee of AITEO-NFF Football Awards, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi has confirmed that the secretary-general of world football governing body, FIFA, Ms Fatma Samoura will attend this year’s edition of the glamour night in Lagos on Monday.
Footballlive.ng can report further, while confirming that Samoura will arrive in Nigeria this weekend, ahead of Monday night’s big event at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Akinwunmi added that everything is set for a remarkable second edition of the awards’ ceremony.
Akinwunmi, who is first vice-president of Nigeria Football Federation and chairman of Lagos State Football Association, said AITEO Awards is an annual event that rewards Nigeria’s best performers over a period of 12 months, and debuted to much accolades last year.
Aside regular individual; awards up for grabs, Akinwunmi disclosed further that there will be special recognition of a squad of outstanding Nigerian ex-international players, tagged Legends Eleven.
Another part of the event that will be repeated from last year is the gong for team of the ages, which went to the 1973 set of Green Eagles that won Nigeria’s first major honour – the gold medal of the football event of the 2nd All-Africa Games that held in Lagos.
Akinwunmi also confirmed that this year’s honour will go to the Super Eagles of 1994 that qualified Nigeria for a first FIFA World Cup, won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time on away ground and spectacularly reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup finals in USA.
A media statement from the NFF information department added: “About 20 presidents of member associations of FIFA and CAF have been invited from across the African continent.
“Chieftains of sponsors AITEO (Nigeria’s leading energy solution company) led by Deputy Managing Director, Francis Peters, will grace Monday’s showpiece.
“Already, about six State Governors have been invited, alongside Nigeria’s Sports Minister Solomon Dalung. The occasion will also be graced by Board Members of the NFF, members of NFF Management.
“Officials of the Lagos State Football Association, representatives of NFF sponsors and partners, chairmen of various football Clubs, members of the diplomatic corps, past NFF Presidents and General Secretaries.
“Award nominees and their friends. A number of renown stakeholders and oaks of the entertainment industry will also be in the auditorium on Monday night.
“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura (the first woman holder of that exalted position and a proud daughter of the African continent) will receive special awards at the occasion.
“When it debuted last year, it marked the first time that the nation’s football –governing body was organizing an Awards ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian Football space.
“On Monday, gongs will be presented to winners in 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, NFF Order of Merit Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Platinum Award categories.”
LAST YEAR’S AWARD WINNERS
Young Player of the Year (Women): Rasheedat Ajibade
Young Player of the Year (Men): Ikouwem Udoh
Fair Play Award: Remo Stars FC
Fans of the Season: El-Kanemi Warriors FC Fans
Coach of the Year (Women): Ann Chiejine
Coach of the Year (Men): Kennedy Boboye
Goal of the Year: Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC)
Team of the Season: Plateau United FC
NFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels Kids’ Cup)Legends Eleven: Ann Chiejine, Austin Eguavoen, Felix Owolabi, Christian Chukwu, Uche Okechukwu, Segun Odegbami, Nwankwo Kanu, Mercy Akide-Udoh, Thompson Usiyen, Austin Okocha, Adokiye Amiesimaka.
Special Recognition: Nigeria’s 1973 All-Africa Games Gold Medallists
Platinum Award: Gianni Infantino