Shanghai Shenhua forward Odion Ighalo, Al Nassr forward Ahmed Musa and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi have been nominated for the King of the Pitch honour at this year’s Nigeria Pitch Awards.
Following their impressive showings at both club and international level in the last 12 months, the trio have been nominated as potential candidates to succeed Chelsea loanee Victor Moses, who won the same award last year.
For the Queen of the Pitch prize, Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala will need to beat off challenges from Shanghai’s Francisca Ordega and Avaldsnes IL’s Rasheedat Ajibade to defend the title she claimed last year.
Other award categories include Coach of the Year, Club of the Year, Most Valuable Player in the Nigeria Professional Football League, Most Valuable Player in the Nigeria Professional Women’s League, National Team of the Year and Referee of the Year amongst others.
Full nominees list
Goalkeeper of the Year: Ikechuwku Ezenwa [Enyimba/Katsina United], Theophilus Afelokhai [Enyimba], Francis Uzoho [Deportivo La Coruna/Anorthosis].
Defender of the Year: Leon Balogun [Brighton and Hove Albion], William Troost-Ekong [Udinese], Kenneth Omeruo [Leganes].
Midfielder of the Year: Wilfred Ndidi [Leicester City], Oghenekaro Etebo [Stoke City], Alex Iwobi [Arsenal].
Striker of the Year: Junior Lokosa [Kano Pillars], Odion Ighalo [Changchun Yatai/Shanghai Shenhua], Ahmed Musa [Al Nassr].
MVP in NPFL 2018-19: Godwin Aguda [Enugu Rangers], Junior Lokosa [Kano Pillars], Mfon Udoh [Enyimba/Akwa United].
MVP in NPWL: Anam Imo [Nasarawa United], Evelyn Nwabuoku [Rivers Angels], Rasheedat Ajibade [FC Robo].
Queen of the Pitch: Asisat Oshoala [Dalian Quanjian], Francisca Ordega [Atletico Madrid/Shanghai Shengli], Rasheedat Ajibade [FC Robo].
King of the Pitch: Ahmed Musa [Al Nassr], Odion Ighalo [Changchun Yatai/Shanghai Shenhua], Wilfred Ndidi [Leicester City].
Coach of the Year: Thomas Dennerby [Super Falcons], Gbenga Ogunbote [Enugu Rangers], Solomon Ogbeide [Lobi Stars].
Club of the Year: Akwa United, Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars.
National Team of the Year: Super Sand Eagles, Super Falcons, Super Eagles.
Referee of the Year: Ogabor Joseph Odey, Adebimpe Quadri, Ferdinand Udoh.
Samuel Okwaraji Award: Kunle Soname [Chairman Remo Stars/Bet9ja], Amaju Pinnick [NFF President], Seyi Akinwunmi [NFF, vice-President].
State with best grassroots football development programme: Delta State, Rivers State, Lagos State.
Football Journalist of the Year (Print) has Tunde Liadi, The Nation; Johnny Edwards, Complete Sports and Tana Aiyejina, The Punch.
For the Radio category, George Essien Comfort Radio Tony Bekederemo, Brila FM and Olawale Adigun, Top Radio.
The Football Journalist of the Year (TV) category has Cecilia Omoregbe, Moses Praiz, Supersports and Austin Okon-Akpan Channels for nomination.
For the Online category, Naijafootballplus.com CEO, Tobi Adepoju, Sportsvillagesquare.com counterpart, Kunle Solaja and Samuel Ahmadu of Goal.com up for nomination.
The organisers of the Pitch Awards, Shina Philips, said that the awards ranked as one of the best in the country, adding that it was time to recognise the heroes in football while they are still alive.
He said that his organisation and its partners, Auditing Firm, SIAO, would continue to protect the integrity of the awards in respect to nominations and transparent voting system.
“SIAO partners have continued to support our vision. They have approached the responsibility of the collation of the result with all sense of professionalism.
“In every sense of it, they have demonstrated their integrity and professionalism in the accounting world.
“The Nigeria Pitch Awards has come to stay and as organisers, we will continue to put in all that is necessary to sustain the standards that the awards have set,” he said.