An array of prominent global figures, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino and CAF President Ahmad, political chieftains, football stars, renowned administrators past and present, captains of industry, legends of the Nigeria game and oaks of the entertainment industry are now confirmed for the inaugural edition of the AITEO/CAF Football Awards holding at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos today.
FIFA and CAF sources confirmed yesterday that Infantino and Ahmad will arrive in Nigeria today and would be live at the event venue alongside Presidents of about 20 Member Associations of FIFA. The highlight is the player of the season men award, being contested for by Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi and Anthony Okpotu, while Asisat Oshoala, Charity Reuben and Francisca Ordega will battle for the women’s player of the year award.
NFF 1st Vice President and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi said that broadcast partners SuperSport and Africa Independent Television (AIT) will relay the program live as from 7pm. “SuperSport and AIT will broadcast the Awards ceremony live, starting from 7pm, and it will last for exactly 90 minutes – the period of a football match.” Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is expected alongside a number of his cabinet members, with AITEO Vice President/CEO Francis Peters and topshots of the Sponsor company also set to add glamour to the big event.
Officials said that though Youth and Sports Minister Solomon Dalung is outside the country and unable to attend, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Olusade Adesola will attend the ceremony. It is the first time that the nation’s football –governing body is organizing an Awards ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian Football space.
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 and Platinum Award categories. Also, there will be special recognition of a ‘Legends Eleven,’ a squad of outstanding former Nigeria international players.
The Awards ceremony will also be attended by a large selection of Nigeria 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. Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Members of NFF Congress, officials of the Lagos State Football Association, NFF partners and sponsors, former NFF Presidents, former NFF General Secretaries, Chairmen of NPFL clubs and members of the diplomatic corp are also expected.
The Awards night comes only six-and-half weeks after the AITEO/CAF Football Awards which the leading energy solution company is also bankrolling, and NFF President Amaju Pinnick said on Sunday that AITEO has set a high mark for corporate bodies in Nigeria to follow.