Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa has taken to his social media account to celebrate his victory at the just concluded Nigeria Pitch Awards, which held in Asaba last weekend.

Gov. Okowa beat two other governors to emerge the Football Friendly Governor of the year (2018).

Moments after receiving the award certificate from Amaju Pinnick, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President in his office at Asaba yesterday, the Governor took to his official Instagram handle to celebrate the award. Governor Okowa wrote, “Thank you to the NFF President, Mr. Amaju Pinnick and the Nigerian Pitch Awards for the honour of being named the Football Friendly Governor of the year (2018)”

The award ceremony held last Saturday, after the International Friendly between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Warriors of Zimbabwe. It was attended by Seyi Akinwunmi First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ahmed Fresh, NFF Board member, Mr. Chiedu Ebie, Secretary to the Delta State Government, Mr. Olayinka Adeleke, State Police Commissioner, Coach Gernot Rhor, technical crew and members of the Super Eagles.

Speaking at the ceremony, Seyi Akinwuni who represented the NFF President, commended the organizers of the awards stressing that putting an award together required a lot of effort. He reiterated the support of the Federation for the Pitch Awards.

Mr. Shina Philips, President of the Nigeria Pitch Awards expressed appreciation of the organizers to the Federation and the Delta State Government. He said the organizers remained committed to giving Nigerians a transparent and credible awards.
‘We will continue to do what is right because we believe our players need to be motivated by a transparent and credible reward system which will see then earn the respect of everyone in the football community,’ Philips said.

At the awards, Super Eagles striker and Al Nassr sensation, Ahmed Musa and Super Falcons player Francisca Ordega both won the top prizes of King and Queen of the Pitch at the 6th award ceremony of the Nigeria Pitch Awards.

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Highlights of the awards ceremony were the presentation of award certificates and statuettes to winners and honorary awards to two well deserving football administrators notably Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, General Secretary of the NFF and Mr. Dayo Enebi Achor the Super Eagles Administrator who were honoured with the Special Achievement in Football Award and Special Recognition Award respectively.

In the Defender of the Year category, William Troost-Ekong of Udinese starved off competition from fellow team mates Leon Balogun and Kenneth Omeruo. In the Goalkeeper’s category, Anorthosis Famagusta goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho beat last year’s winner, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Enyimba International goalie Theophilus Afelokhai to win the prize for the first time. Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi retained the Midfielder of the Year award and Odion Ighalo the Shanghai Shenhua forward was voted the Striker of the Year.

The Sam Okwaraji Award for commitment to Nigeria Football has been one of the high points of previous Awards Ceremonies. Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, the First Vice President of the NFF and Chairman Lagos FA, joined Amaju Pinnick and Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah as winners of the prestigious Sam Okwaraji Award. The NFF President had won the previous two editions. Oil giant, Aiteo Group retained the Corporate Sponsor of Football award. Enugu Rangers Coach, Gbenga Ogunbote won the Coach of the Year award while his team carted home the Club of the Year award. Nigeria’s national women team, Super Falcons were voted the Best National Team.

In the media category, Samuel Ahmadu of emerged the maiden winner of the Football Journalist of the Year (Online). Other winners are Johnny Edwards of Complete Sports who was named Football Journalist of the Year (Print), Mozez Praiz of Supersport won the Football Journalist of the Year (TV) and Tony Bekederemo of Brila Sports Radio was voted winner of the Football Journalist of the Year (Radio).

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