Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: NFF Endorses New Date, Venue for Nigeria Pitch Awards

The Nigeria Football Federation and Matchmakers Consult International Limited announced at the weekend that the inaugural edition of the much-anticipated Nigeria Pitch Awards will now come up on Sunday, 24th March, 2013.

Originally billed to hold on 15th December, 2012, the Nigeria Pitch Awards is the first football Awards on a national scale to be blessed with active collaboration of the country's football governing body, the NFF.

The Nigeria Pitch Awards is billed to be Nigeria's first red carpet event in sports and will honour all actors/actresses on the football pitch, as well as sponsors, football-friendly State Governments and other stakeholders.

On Sunday, the NFF and Matchmakers said they had decided to align with the reality that holding the Awards Ceremony this month would rob it of some essence and substance.

Shina Philips, chief executive officer of Matchmakers Consult International Limited, said: "Our local and international sponsors and partners, who have affirmed their

commitment and support for the Awards, are of the opinion that they would need more time to build football fans' support and followership for the Awards.

"The earlier date of 15 December 2012 also became impracticable because of the FIFA Club World Cup holding in Japan within this period and the Glo-Caf African Football Awards taking place in Accra, Ghana on 20th December, 2012.

The new date will also, invariably, offer the added opportunity of having most Super Eagles players in attendance at the Awards Ceremony since Nigeria will be hosting the Harambee Stars of Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match that weekend."

NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said the new date also affords the organizers time to plan the several pre-Awards events and the Awards Ceremony proper.

"There is a Night of Stars that will celebrate our football superstars and entertainment celebrities on 24th February, 2013, and then an international seminar to draw awareness to human trafficking in football, on 22nd March, 2013.

"The Night of Stars will take place at the Sheraton Hotels, Lagos with the Seminar to hold at the Conference Hall, TINAPA Hotels in Calabar.

The Nigeria Pitch Awards ceremony will take place at the Calabar Cultural Centre," Amadu stated.

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