The South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan is among a glittering list of guests invited to the second edition of the Aiteo Football Awards to be held at the Eko Hotel and Suites at the Victoria Island in Lagos on April 1.
While April 1 is celebrated in South Africa as “April Fool’s Day,” there is no fooling Nigerian Football Federation President (NFF) Amaju Pinnick who is pulling all the stops to ensure that this year’s jamboree is bigger and better than the inaugural event staged at the same venue last year.
Jordaan confirmed in an interview that he had indeed been invited and had accepted the invitation to grace the occasion where CAF President Ahmad Ahmad as well as FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura have also been invited.
Pinnick, who is the CAF First Vice President following the banishment of Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana from all football activities after he was found guilty of improper conduct by FIFA, appears to be solidifying his position within African football as an important player.
Although nominees have not yet been announced, awards would be presented in the Footballer of the Year, Team of the Year, Team Sports Person of the Year, Sports Governor of the Year, Sports Administrator of the Year, Track & Field Star of the Year, Sportsman and Sports Woman of the Year.
Other award categories to be voted for include Racket Sports Person of the Year, Basketball Player of the Year, Para Sports Person of The Year, Team of the Year, Discovery of the Year, Wrestler of the Year, Coach of the Year.
Last year’s inaugural edition wowed the football world with huge entertainment, with Governors Akinwunmi Ambode and Ifeanyi Okowa of Lagos and Delta States respectively, joining FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the occasion.
It also marked the first time that the nation’s football governing body was organizing an Awards ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian Football space.
Gongs were presented to winners in Player of the Year (men), Player of the Year (women), Coach of the Year (men), Coach of the Year (women), Young Player of the Year (men), Young Player of the Year (women), Team of the Season, Fairplay Award, Goal of the Season among others.
There were also awards for Fans of the Season, NFF Development Award and Platinum Award categories.
Also, there was a special recognition of a ‘Legends Eleven,’ a squad of outstanding former Nigeria international players. Recognition was also accorded the first Nigerian football team to achieve glory – the Green Eagles squad that won the football gold at the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973.