It was an emotional night on Monday as the Super Falcons class of 1999 were awarded at the 2021 Nigeria Football Federation/Aiteo Award Nite.
The team dominated the women’s football scene for so many years with the team remaining the only side to have reached the quarter-final of the women’s World Cup in 1999.
The 1999 Super Falcons comprising of the likes of Nkiru Okosieme, Ann Chiejine, Stella Mbachu, Mercy Akide-Udoh mesmerized the continent for so many years, winning seven Africa Women Cup of Nations’ trophies.
Speaking during the award, Akide-Udoh, who was in tears said she never expected to be recognized for what she loves doing.
“This is a moment for all of us to cherish, when we were playing, we were doing it for passion,” she said amidst tears.
“Getting recognized today shows that hard work pays and we should all be conscious of whatever we are doing in life.
“This is a kind of encouragement for the upcoming generation; continue to give your best to whatever you are doing.”
While recounting the days of humble beginning, Okosieme recalled the performance of each member of the team and how they worked together as a family.
Okosieme said they all worked for one another on the field of play and that’s why they are still relating with each other to date.
Apart from the 1999 Super Falcons, there were other awards as Silas Nwankwo and Charles Atshimene, who shared the honours of top scorer in the last NPFL season with 19 goals, were joint winners of the Best Performance of the Year (Men; Nigeria-based) while Paul Onuachu emerged Best Performer for the overseas-based crew.
Oshoala, who Spanish club FC Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League, emerged best performer (Women; Overseas-based) while Gift Monday, top scorer in the NWFL season, was crowned best performer on the home front.
Best Performance of the Year (Men; Nigeria-based): Silas Nwankwo/Charles Atshimene
Best Performance of the Year (Men; Overseas-based): Paul Onuachu
Best Performance of the Year (Women; Nigeria-based): Gift Monday
Best Performance of the Year (Women; Overseas-based): Asisat Oshoala
Club of the Year (Men): Akwa United FC
Club of the Year (Women): Rivers Angels FC
Coach of the Year (Men): Kennedy Boboye
Coach of the Year (Women): Moses Adukwu
Referee of the Year (Men): Joseph Ogabor
Referee of the Year (Women): Patience Ndidi Madu
Memorable Performance of the Year: Bayelsa United FC
Host State of the Year: Lagos State
Best Supporter of Women’s Football: Dr (Mrs) Aisha Buhari
Commitment to Women’s Football Excellence: Edo State
Inspirational Award: Ahmed Musa
Innovation Award: NFFTV/NPFLTV
Special Recognition Award: Super Falcons Class of 1999
Lifetime Achievement Award: Princess Bola Ngozi Jegede
Post-humous Award: Prince Larry Eze/ Ms Henrietta Ukaigwe