Veteran Kano Pillars midfielder, Rabiu Ali has clinched the Matchday 26 VAT Wonder Goal, beating off competition from Tchato Giscard of MFM FC. Abia Warriors’ Yakub Hammed finished a distant third in the online poll conducted on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) website and Twitter handle.
Of the total of 196 voters on the NPFL Twitter account, @LMCNPFL, 101 endorsed the goal Ali scored away from home in Ilorin against Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC in a 1-1 draw while another 53 voted Giscard’s volley against Sunshine Stars at the Agege Stadium in MFM's 2-1 defeat of the Akure Gunners. Abia Warriors Yakub secured the remaining 42 votes.
Fifty eight fans who voted on the NPFL website, www.npfl.ng preferred Tchato, 49 for Ali and just three for Yakub. The Kano Pillars ace thus secured a total of 150 votes while Tchato picked up 111 and Yakub got 45.
Niyi Oyeleke, General Manager, Production at SuperSport said each of the players nominated deserved the award, adding that, “however, being a competition in which fans choose their preferred goal, one person is bound to win and Ali is hugely deserving of this award.”
Ali becomes the 7th VAT Wonder Goal award winner following Ayo Saka of Rivers United, Ubong Friday of Akwa United and Salefu Ochowechi of Remo Stars. The others are Seka Pascal of FC Ifeanyiubah, Ahmed Usman of Wikki Tourists and Shedrack Asiegbu of Abia Warriors.
Winners receive a cash reward of N150,000 half of which is donated to a charity of his choice located within the state where the club is based. Ali is expected to be presented his award at a ceremony to hold before the start of their Matchday 29 fixture against Rangers International at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano this Sunday.
The VAT Wonder Goal is a social investment initiative of the League Management Company (LMC) to promote clubs and community engagement and supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to promote tax education amongst the football community.