Nigeria and Chelsea of England midfielder, John Obi Mikel has been shortlisted for the Footballer of the Year (male) category by the Nigerian Sports Award panel.
Mikel will have to battle his international team mates, Osaze Odemwinge of Westbromwich Albion also of England and Ikechukwu Uche of Spanish second division club Villareal for the prestigious award which comes up on November 29 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
According to the secretary of the panel and chief executive officer of Unmissable incentives, Kayode Idowu, the award panel which is headed by the Chairman of the Vanguard Editorial Board, Ikeddy Isiguzo also shortlisted Perpetua Nkwocha, Desire Oparanozie and Francisca Ordega in the female category.
Mikel is also gunning for the Sportsman of the Year award. He has Osaze Odemwinge and Paralympic gold medalist, Yakubu Adesokan to contend with.
Three Paralympians, Grace Anozie, Yakubu Adesokan and Folashade Oluwafemiayo are vying for the Special Sports Personality of the year award.
Other categories with shortlisted nominees include Team of the year which is being contested by the national U-17 Women football team, the Falconets, the national basketball team, D'Tigers and Federation Cup winners, Heartland of Owerr.
In coach of the Year category Okon Edwin of the Falconets, Feyisetan Are, Head coach of the Powerlifters (Paralympians) and Ayo Bakare of D'Tigers are the front runners.
The most contentious was the sports manager of the year category which has AFN President Solomon Ogba, Cross River State Commissioner for Sports, Patrick Ugbe and his Oyo State counterpart Dapo Lam Adesina as nominees.
Chairman of the award panel, Ikeddy Isiguzo stated that the panel which has ace sportscaster, Fabio Lanipekun, Dr (Mrs) Gloria Obajimi, Ejiro Omonode and Fred Edoreh arrived at the shortlisted names from the nominations sent in by members of the public. "Only the first three nominees with the highest number of votes in each category were shortlisted," Ikkedy said, adding that "the nominees must meet the criteria set by panel to be able to receive the awards."