FIFA President Gianni Infantino has described Nigeria as a country with unquantifiable passion and love for football, and where football is more than a religion.
“I was told that in Nigeria football is passion, but it is a lie because it is more than that. In Nigeria I was told that football is love, but it is a lie it is more than that.
“In Nigeria, I was told that football is a religion, but it is a lie. It is more than that. In Nigeria, football is life,” he said in Lagos on Monday.
Infantino spoke at the maiden edition of the AITEO-NFF Awards, which was organised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and bankrolled by oil giants AITEO Group.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event held at the Eko Hotels and Suites saw Chelsea FC winger Victor Moses winning the “Player of the Year” award.
Speaking also at the event, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, pledged his administration’s continued support to football and sports in general.
“We will continue to give our unrelenting support to football and sports in general, I want to assure the President of FIFA that whenever he is coming back, Lagos will be considered to host a FIFA tournament,’’ he said.
In his address, the Deputy Managing Director of AITEO Group, Francis Peters, said the oil conglomerate was happy to be part of football history in Nigeria in good times.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick, on his part, said the awards night was to celebrate Nigerian legends for their contributions to the development of football in the country.
He also said football administration was a journey and not a destination, adding “therefore, there must be a conscious effort to minimise errors for fear of losing the opportunity.
“In Nigeria, football is a way of life and everybody is a coach. So, we need to be very careful. Football teaches us ethics and how to live a normal life,” Pinnick said.
NAN reports that Moses got the award and recognition for his stellar performances for the national team, the Super Eagles, en route their qualification for Russia 2018.
He was an integral part of the side during the historic qualification matches where he played in four of the six matches scoring three goals in the process.
Moses also helped his Chelsea side reclaim the English Premier League title in the 2016/2017 season where he featured in 40 games.
The 27-year old also got CAF’s recognition by being among the nominees for CAF’s Player of the Year award eventually won by Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.
To win the AITEO-NFF award, he beat competition from Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi and Lobi Stars’ Anthony Okpotu.
NAN reports that other winners at the awards include Rasheedat Ajibade who claimed the “Player of the Year (Women)’’ award and Ikouwon Udoh who emerged “Young Player of the Year (Women)’’.
Ann Chiejine won the “Coach of the Year (Women)’’ award, while MFM FC’s midfielder Sikiru Olatunbosun took the “Goal of the Year’’ award.
Remo Stars FC won the Fair Play award, while the “Coach of the Year (Men)’’ award went to Kennedy Boboye, coach of 2017/2018 NPFL champions Plateau United FC of Jos.
Channels Television won the “Developmental Award”.
The “All-Time Legendary Awards” went to Chiejine, Christian Chukwu, Uche Okechukwu, Austin Eguavoen, Felix Owolabi, Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Segun Odegbami, Adokie Amaesimaka, Mercy Udoh and Thompson Usiyen.
The Platinum Award went to Infantino.
Latest Nigeria News
- Thieves On The Chest
- Black Face complains: ''2face owes me money, and he won't pay back''
- Steady rise in prostitution despite ban in Abuja
- Mercy Johnson And Tonto Dike In A War Of Words
- Video Of Nigerian Lawmakers In A Bloody Fight
- Miss Unizik Nude Photos Leaked By Ex-Boyfriend
- Big Boy: Ice Prince Wears Same Givenchy Shirt As P Diddy To BET Awards
- Shameful - Iyanya Tattooed Yvonne Nelson's Name On His Wrist
- 2 Unilag Students Dead, 3 Others Almost Dead After Fatal Car Accident [Photos]
- Omotola Poses For THISDAY Style Photoshoot
- Hot or Not? - Genevieve's Dress To Ebony Life TV Launch
- Celestial Church Prophet Owolere Odunuga Jailed In Kirikiri Over Visa Fraud
- ASUU Embarks on a Total and Indefinite Nation-wide Strike from 1st July
- Super Eagles’ Handler: Keshi or foreign coach?
- 11 Burnt To Death In Ibadan Auto Accident
- Former Nollywood Actress Eucharia Anunobi In Senegal For 7-Day Crusade
- Stephanie Okereke-Linus Bags Africa Women Awards
- Federal Government bans civil servants from taking chieftaincy titles
- Omotola's Waka-Pass Role On American National TV Show
- £3,000 visa bond: Federal Government warns British govt
- First Bank Nigeria Plc Security man breaks ATM, steals N12m
- John Olumba, 31-Year Old Nigerian Running For Detroit Mayor
- Whats up with this picture?
- Why President Barack Obama Is Not Visiting Nigeria
- Most Overexposed Celebrities In Nigeria
- Wizkid Tells Unilag Students: ‘I don’t do cheap money’
- Islamic cleric Rapes Teenager During Deliverance
- Is This A Case Of "Bad" Underwear?
- Police declare Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, ex-deputy gov of Lagos State wanted for fraud
- Nigerians support anti same-sex Bill
- Another Baby Born With Quran In Lagos
- Ondo Female Legislator Fola Olasehinde Suspended Over Possession Of Fetish Objects
- Female Student Raped By Security Man And 5 Students At A Private Polytechnic In Ekiti State
- Governor Sanusi Freezes Bank Accounts Of Nigerian Churches
- OAU student gives birth and attempts to flush new born baby down the toilet in school hostel
- Tope Alabi Fights With Spiritual Father, Prophet Ajanaku
- Pressure Mounts On Hubby To Dump Ini Edo
- Keturah Hamilton: Jim Iyke Used And Dumped Me
- Keturah Hamilton: Jim Iyke Used And Dumped Me
- Are Tribal Marks Still Necessary Today?