Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Mallam Shehu Dikko has said the league is very close to the official unveiling of the Rasheed Yekini trophy for the highest goal scorer as part of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Awards which the board approved at its meeting in June.
Dikko said the decision to name the trophy after one of Nigeria’s most prolific forwards was chosen by the board as a route to immortalize the player who scored a total of 37 goals in 58 appearances for the country and demonstrated exemplary character and commitment throughout his career.
“There is a broad plan to institute awards and honour outstanding players, officials, key stakeholders and fans in the league at the end of every season and there are a number of factors that led us to reach the decision to name one of these awards, that of the highest goal scorer after the late Rasheed Yekini. The awards is part of strategic plans of the LMC to create commercial value and additional revenues out of the assets inherent in the league property.
“We considered the aspiration factor which seeks to let the players know that they too can become national heroes if they achieve excellence and make a success of their career. It says to them that they too can become legends of the game and the society will honour them as we have sought to honour the late Yekini”, Dikko further explained.
The LMC Chairman disclosed that a monetary incentive and other social benefits will be attached to the awards, adding that in the case of the highest goal scorer award, “we have received a request from the Rasheed Yekini Foundation to provide additional cash support to the winner and we are studying their proposal. There are already plans to officially unveil the special trophy for this award at one of the league game venues”.
Dikko said the NPFL Awards is a long term project of the LMC open to corporate sponsors in both headline and other supporting categories for which some corporate firms are already holding talks with the LMC on their potential participation in the NPFL Awards.
Yekini started his football career with United Textile Mills Limited (UNTL) Kaduna before teaming up with the then IICC Shooting Stars, now Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan and finally, the defunct Abiola Babes before he joined Africa Sports of Cote d’ Ivoire.
Born on October 23, 1963, the one-time Africa Footballer of the Year died on May 4, 2012.