John Mikel Obi, Chelsea Football Club star, and three time African Women footballer of the Year, Perpetua Nkwocha, emerged as King and Queen of the Pitch at the Award Ceremony of the maiden edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards held in Calabar, Cross River State on Saturday.
Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State also carted home the award for the Football Friendly Governor of the Year.
Speaking after receiving his award, Imoke poured encomiums on the organisers of the Awards and the Nigeria Football Federation for organising an award ceremony to celebrate Nigeria’s qualification for the World Cup taking place in Brazil next year.
He dedicated the award to the good people of Cross River State.
In the Players’ Category, Vincent Enyeama was voted the Goalkeeper of the Year while Godfrey Oboabona and Emmanuel Emenike emerged as Defender and Striker of the Year respectively.
Mikel Obi also snatched away the Midfielder of the Year award, beating the duo of Sunday Mba and Ogenyi Onazi of Lazio.
Chief Felix Anyansi of Enyimba FC was honoured with the Manager of the Year Award in the Officials’ Category.
Other winners were Jelili Ogunmuyiwa for Referee of the Year, John Olatunji Shittu for Players’ Agent of the Year, Stephen Keshi for Coach of the Year and Kano Pillars for Club of the Year.
Lagos State won the State with the Best Grassroots Development Programme award.
In the keenly contested media category, Ade Ojeikere of the Nation newspapers took home the Football Journalist of the Year (Print) Award while Bimbo Adeola of Star FM emerged as Football Journalist of the Year (Radio).
Toyin Ibitoye of Channels TV was also voted Football Journalist of the Year (TV).
The trio of Aminu Maigari, NFF President; Musa Amadu, General Secretary; and Chris Green were honoured with the Football Achievement Awards for their contributions to growth of our football.
Also at the ceremony, Gideon Akinsola, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of security at match venues; Paul Bassey, a seasoned journalist; Dr Rafiu Ladipo, President of the Nigerian Sports Supporters Club; and Jay Jay Okocha all received the Special Recognition Awards.