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What makes the Nigeria Pitch Award standout – Shina Philips

22:53 GMT+3 06/01/2022
Shina Phillips
The event – that has the backing of the Nigeria Football Federation - is organised to honour the country’s top performers in the beautiful game

Fairness, transparency and the zeal to reward Nigerians for their active role in football are some of the reasons why the Nigeria Pitch Awards stand out, according to the event’s president Shina Philips.

The award ceremony was birthed in November 2013 in Calabar to reward excellence, talent and industry among football players and officials.

Since then, the organisers have continued to reinforce the quality of the award process which many have described as reliable and clear.

To accentuate this, the Nigeria Football Federation vowed to lend its helping hand to the Nigeria Pitch Awards.

Nigeria Pitch Awards

Speaking during Wednesday’s unveiling of nominees at the Ibis Hotel Lagos, the seasoned football shareholder explained what makes his brand of award experience longevity.

“I sincerely must thank God for what the Nigeria Pitch Award is from inception to what it would be in the future by God’s grace. Looking at where we started from, one would conclude that whatever dream that is true will probably go through tough times,” Philips told GOAL.  

“The Nigeria Pitch Awards was designed to impact, to add value to a sector in our nation – that brings joy to virtually everybody.

“The unity that comes with our national team playing, during moments of victory cannot be explained let alone overemphasized.

“Putting a process that can help these players to see that whatever they bring onboard is truly appreciated through this platform.”

Shina Philips

Each year, winners are picked by a team of over 100 football journalists  - who vote online - spread across the 36 states of the country.

“The platform is determined to be credible, so we put in place a system where voters across the nation can truly decide for themselves based on their expertise who is better in the different categories that we have put on board without any form of interference,” he continued.

“Transparency here, first, we outlined what we are all about – released the categories then we now stated the criteria for it. We made it clear for all to see, not just all the voters.”

Victor Osimhen Napoli Torino 17102021

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and Barcelona women’s Asisat Oshoala are among the nominees for the 2021 Nigeria Pitch Awards.

Osimhen got a mention in the Striker of the Year category alongside Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Onuachu – who contributed a great deal to the club’s triumph in the Belgian Cup for the 2020–21 campaign.

Following her impressive outing for Barcelona – a team she helped win the Uefa Women’s Champions League last term – Oshoala faces a stiff challenge in River Angels' Gift Monday and Linkopings FC's Uchenna Kalu in the quest to be named as Nigeria’s Queen of the Pitch.


Goalkeeper of the Year: Francis Uzoho, Maduka Okoye, Daniel Akpeyi
Defender of the Year: William Troost Ekong, Olisa Ndah, Leon Balogun
Midfielder of the Year: Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo Rangers FC, Wilfred Ndidi
Striker of the Year: Kelechi Iheanacho, Victor Osimhen, Paul Onuachu 
Queen of the Pitch: Gift Monday, Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kalu 
King of the Pitch: Wilfred Ndidi, Paul Onuachu, Victor Osimhen 
Team of the Year: Bayelsa United, Rivers United, Akwa United
Coach of the Year: Diepreye Teibowei, Edwin Okon, Kennedy Boboye 
Sam Okwaraji Award: Victor Osimhen, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, Asisat Oshoala  
State with best grassroots football development: Delta, Edo, Lagos
Football Friendly Governor: Nyesom Wike, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ifeanyi Okowa 
Corporate Sponsor of Football Award: Aiteo Group, Air Peace, Aiteo Group
Football Pitch of the Year Award: Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Teslim Balogun Stadium