This year’s Nigerian Sports Award witnessed dominance of nomination by Rio 2016 Paralympians with most of them making the nominees for sports man and woman of the year categories.
According to the chairman of the award panel, Ikedi Isiguzo, 11 out of the 20 categories of the award would be given out this year following the lack of nomination from the public for nine of the awards.
Isiguzo who spoke at the unveiling of all the nominees for this year’s award, said that only excellent and not popularity would be rewarded.
The Executive Director, Unmissable Incentives, Kayode Idowu unveiled Manchester City of England star, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wikki Tourists’ striker, Godwin Obaje and Rangers International star, Chisom Egbuchulam in the footballer of the year category.
For sportsman of the year, Paralympians Kehinde Paul, Ezuruike Roland and Nnamdi Innocent will compete for the gong, while five Paralympians – Omolayo Bose, Orji Josephine, Lauretta Onye, Lucy Ejike and Flora Ugwunma will jostle for laurel in the sports woman and special sports person of the year.
The trio of Kehinde Paul, Ezuruike Roland and Nnamdi Innocent will also jostle for the special sports person of the year (men).
The team of the year is between Dream IV and Rangers International while the coach of the year will be a battle among Samson Siasia, Are Feyisetan and Imama Amapakabo.
Idowu however, disclosed that there would be special recognition got six athletes who are referred to as sporting heroes. “The performances of our athletes and sports in Nigeria in
2016 has been very poor. There’s really nothing major to celebrate aside the exploits of our Paralympians. We therefore needs we have decided to add colour to the 5th edition of the award by celebrating some first in Nigerian sports at the highest level with six special recognition to be awarded during the event on December 2 at Banquet Hall, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos,” Idowu said.
Publics are expected to vote for the sportsman and sportswomen of the year from November 8 to 27.