By Emmanuel Uffot
Super Eagles stand in Captain Ahmed Musa who currently plays for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr was on Monday April 1, 2019 named Nigerian Male Player of the Year 2018 at the AITEO-Nigeria Football Federation, NFF Football Awards which took place on Monday April 1, at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos.
The Nigerian striker who holds the record of the only Nigerian player to have scored in two FIFA World Cup competitions, beat the duo of Odion Ighalo and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi that were shortlisted for the Award category. In the Female Player Of The Year category defender Onome Ebi beat bookmakers favourites, Asisat Oshola-three time African Footballer Of the Year Award winner and Francisca Ordega who was the best Super Falcons defender at the Africa Women Cup of Nations competition in 2018 to become Nigerian Female Player of the Year.
Anam Imo a home based Super Falcons player who plays for Nasarawa Amazons, and won the Nigeria Women’s Premier League highest goal scorer last season won The Female Young Player of the Year Award while Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal, Spain and Super Eagles new sensation was Male Young Player of the year award winner. Other winners at this year edition of the prestigious football award were Gbenga Ogunbote-Coach of the Year (Male), Thomas Dennerby-Coach of the Year (Female), Super Falcons-Team of the Season and Kano Pillars FC Fans -Fans of the Season. Ahmed Musa also bagged another award as his goal emerged the Goal of the Season.
Other highlights of the event included a special honour to the 1994 set of Super Eagles that won that year African Cup of Nations, took Nigeria to the first FIFA World Cup competition in USA where they reach the round of 16. The 1994 set of Super Eagles also formed the bulk of the Dream Team of 1996 that won the men’s football gold in Atlanta Olympic Games. Some prominent members of that 1994 Super Eagles squad are- Samson Siasia, Mutiu Agboju, Finidi George, Emmanuel Amunike, Uche Okechukwu, Augustine Equavon, Jay Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, late Rasheed Yekini, Daniel Omokachi, Ben Iroha, Celestine Babayaro, Tijani Babangida and Goal Keeper Peter Rufai among others.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award while the renowned Pillar of Sport of blessed memory late MKO Abiola was honoured post-humously with the Nigerian Football Federation Presidential Award.
In attendance at the award ceremony was Secretary General of FIFA Ms Fatma Samoura while the NFF President Amaju Pinnick was the chief host. The Nigerian Football Award is sponsored by AITEO, a leading energy solution company in Nigeria. The company is also currently the sponsors of the Federation Cup competition and the annual African Football Awards that was hitherto sponsored by mobile telecommunication giant Globacom.
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