BY BOLAJI OKUNOLA
Like every sports poll, enthusiasts are divided on some of the shortlisted candidates for the Nigeria Pitch Award holding in Uyo next month. In the voting done largely by sports editorial helmsmen in various Nigerian media, some football enthusiasts faulted the inclusion of Mikel Obi and the exclusion of Nigeria’s highest goal scorer in Europe this season, Kayode Olanrewaju.
For the greater part of the season, it was argued, Mikel was inactive and did not play any match for Chelsea and had to seek career development in China.
Even in the Chinese League, his playing time had been cut short by injury which he had to travel to Europe to treat. On the other hand, Olanrewaju, the FK Austria Wien striker who is in the race for highest scorer award in the Austrian Bundesliga, was omitted.
But one of the sports editors that voted explained that the award is not necessarily for the current season, but that of last year and it is just holding now for logistic reasons. Though it may be an isolated case, Sports Village Square witnessed a near fracas at Ikotun Egbe are of Lagos over the inclusion of Mikel and the exclusion of Olanrewaju.
The award which sees the likes of Victor Moses of Chelsea, Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City and host of others stars jostling to bag a laurels will take place in Uyo, shortly after the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match with South Africa.