Category Archives: Awards

African Students Union Parliament Honour NFF’s Sanusi

The body of the African Students Union Parliament on Monday conferred on the General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the honour of ‘Africa’s Patriotic Personality of the Year,’ while also inducting him into the Pan-African Leadership Hall of Fame.

At a simple ceremony inside the NFF Secretariat in Abuja, representatives of the body led by the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Kewul Abel described Sanusi as a selfless leader, prudent administrator, positive force in the promotion of peace and development of Nigerian Football and a man concerned with community and human capital development.

Sanusi with Gusau, Alkali, NFF Management and representatives of the African Students Union Parliament.

A plaque and a certificate were presented to Dr. Sanusi, with other representatives Francine Etongo, Henry Nwankwo, Zainab Sule, Epah Bublo and James Uneze watching. NFF Executive Committee members, Alhaji Ibahim Musa Gusau (who represented the NFF President) and Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, Mr. Ayobola Oyeyode (Director of Competitions), Mr. Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications), Mr. Abdulrafiu Yusuf (Assistant Director, Technical) and Ms Ruth David (Head of Women Football) were also in attendance.

Extolling Dr. Sanusi as “a remarkable, reliable and indefatigable sports administrator of international repute, whose life is contributing more than a building block towards the advancement of the noble course of Pan-Africanism through effective and selfless leadership skills,” Abel charged Sanusi not to restrict his intellectual abilities to promoting the round leather game in Nigeria alone, but to extend same to other African countries through exchange programs, peer review mechanism and regional football conferences.

Acknowledging Sanusi’s outstanding understanding of effective service delivery and youth empowerment, the ASUP, which is the umbrella body for all students within the 54 AU–recognised African countries, noted that the dream of building a better society is sacrosanct and tedious, and can only be achieved through collective and collaborative efforts of well –meaning individuals like the NFF General Secretary.

NFF GS, Dr. Sanusi receiving his certificate as Africa’s Patriotic Personality of the Year from Comrade Francine Etongo.

Responding, Sanusi thanked ASUP for the special recognition and commended their campaign against the abuse of drugs and other related substances. He lauded the body for its vision and industry.

In his short remark, Alh. Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who stood in for the NFF President, hailed the students for their astuteness in recognising the qualities in Dr. Sanusi, whom he described as an energetic, industrious and shrewd administrator par excellence.


NFF Celebrates Partners, Sponsors And Super Falcons

They are the reason the Nigeria Football Federation can beat its chest anywhere that it is 60-65% self –funded. Corporate Nigeria’s support for Nigerian Football has improved significantly over the years. And they all turned out gleefully and in full flow when the NFF decided to celebrate them in Lagos on Thursday night.

In south – west Ikoyi, upscale district of Lagos – the Centre of Excellence – there was an underpin of excellence to the planning and execution, and though not a night for speeches, the partners and sponsors affirmed their satisfaction and commitment to the relationship. Even those not in the boat yet gave words of their eagerness to jump aboard.

Pinnick presenting a gift to Cadbury Nigeria PLC, one of the NFF’s partners

At the occasion were big wigs and representatives of AITEO Group (Official Optimum Partner of the NFF); Coca-Cola (Official Soft Drink and Co-Sponsor of the National Teams); Nigerian Breweries PLC (Star Lager – Official Alcoholic Drink of the Super Eagles; Amstel Malta – Official Malt Drink of the NFF and the National Teams); ZENITH International Bank PLC (Official Bank of the NFF); Tropical and General Investments (Big Bull – Official Rice of the Super Eagles); WAPIC Insurance PLC (Official Insurance Services Provider of the NFF and the National Teams); Cadbury Nigeria PLC (Tom Tom – Official Candy of the Super Eagles); Emzor Pharmaceuticals (Official Paracetamol of the NFF and the National Teams); FrieslandCampina WAMCO (Peak Milk – Official Milk of the Super Eagles); Simba Group (TVS: Official Motorycle and Tricycle Partner of the Super Eagles) and; Sports Radio Brila (Official Broadcast Station of the NFF). Overseas –based kits supplier NIKE and 1XBET (Official Partner) sent words of goodwill.

Francis Peters being presented with signed Nigerian jersey by Pinnick and US Consul – General John Bray

Mr. Francis Peters (Deputy Managing Director/CEO) led the team from AITEO Group, and there were also Jordi Borrut Bel (MD, Nigerian Breweries) alongside Emmanuel Oriakhi (Marketing Director) and Uaboi Agbebaku (Head of Legal); Francis Ekonye, Chief Inspector of ZENITH Bank, alongside Yeside Banjoko (Head, Domestic Treasury and Marcel Eguabor (Head, Corporate Communications); Dr. Larry Izamoje (Chairman, Sports Radio Brila) alongside Jide Ojo and Babafemi Raji; Gbolahan Sanni and Soji Omogui (Coca Cola); Bala Yesufu (Director, Corporate and Government Affairs (West Africa) of Cadbury; Sunil Swahney (MD, TGI) with Executive Director Kachi Onubogu; Ayodeji Bankole-Olusina (MD, WAPIC Insurance) alongside Bode Ojeniyi, Executive Director; Manish Rohtagi (MD, Simba Group); Afolarin Ojo (FrieslandCampina) and; Muyiwa Kayode and Adeyemi Aseperi (brand consultants to EMZOR).

Still from the corporate world were Abubakar Lawal (Group Managing Director, GTI); Olakunle Alake (Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries); BUA Group’s Otega Ogra (Group Head, Corporate Communications) and Tajudeen Ahmed (Group Head, Business Development); Nafisat Rabiu-Adebayo (OCP-Africa) and MTN’s Dola Bamgboye.

Consul-General of the United States, John Bray; Stephen Forbes from the British Council and; Auditing firm PwC’s Edafe Erhie, Esiri Agbeyi and Tolu Adeleke added colour to the occasion.

Pinnick, Akinwunmi and Dikko present signed Nigerian jersey to Dangote Group’s Alake for Aliko Dangote

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, as chief host, also had Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President); Mallam Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President); Alhaji Babagana Kalli (Executive Member); Ms Aisha Falode (Executive Member) and; Alhaji Ganiyu Majekodunmi (Executive Member) with him. There were also backroom staff of the Super Eagles, former players Larry Kubeinje, Onome Obruthe and Emmanuel Attah, and leading editors and sports managers.

About a dozen players of the Super Falcons – nine –time champions of Super Africa – came with a couple of backroom staff, with the glittering Africa Cup of Nations perched on their dinner table. Captain Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega, Asisat Oshoala, Tochukwu Oluehi, Chinwendu Ihezuo, Christy Ohiaeriaku, Rasheedat Ajibade, Faith Michael, Josephine Chukwunonye, Osinachi Ohale, Halimat Ayinde, Saran Nnodim, Chiamaka Nnadozie and Glory Ogbonna were joined by Head of Women Football Ruth David and Team Administrator Mary Oboduku.

Francis Peters, in what turned out to be the refrain, commended the energy, dynamism and vision of the present NFF board, while attesting to his firm’s delight and satisfaction with being partners of the Federation. Other partners and sponsors also looked forward to a year 2019 of bountiful harvests for Nigeria internationally, with Pinnick expressing faith that next year’s gathering would be with the men’s Africa Cup of Nations, the FIFA U20 World Cup, the FIFA U17 World Cup and the U23 Africa Cup of Nations.

The BUA Group presenting cheques to the Super Falcons

The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of the sum of N50 million to the Super Falcons by Dangote Group, immediately followed by the presentation of the sum of N25 million to the team by BUA Group.

A night of conviviality, sense of fulfilment for a glorious year and conviction of an even more glorious incoming year was capped with Akinwunmi and Dikko presenting special luxury hampers to the Federation’s partners and sponsors.

Nigeria Rugby Football Federation Boss Receives City Merit Award

The President of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation, Kelechukwu Mbagwu, on Friday in Lagos received the certificate of honour as the ‘Man of the Year’ by the organizers of the prestigious City Merit Awards.

The awards packaged and organized by Bulfazi Media Services, publishers of City Chronicle and Sports Chronicle magazines and in conjunction with the Coalition of Young Editors of Nigeria, is in the 5th edition.

According to the national coordinator of the City Merit Awards, Akeem Busari, who led other members of the awards committee that included veteran broadcaster Bayo Laoye and Taiwo Shonibare.

” It is a recognition for the immense and selfless contributions of distinguished Nigerians in different walks of life to the cultural and socio-economic development of the Nigerian society.”

Kelechukwu Mbagwu President NRFF

Speaking on the occasion of the ceremony held in his Ikoyi office, Mbagwu, who is also the managing director of CMB Building and Maintainance company, a major sponsor of rugby in Nigeria, expressed his gratitude on the recognition given him and promised that it would only spur him into doing better and greater things for the benefit of the society and humanity in general.

And in the recent past, it had recognized distinguished Nigerians in different walks of life including Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, Alhaji Gafar Liameed, Prince Efemena Elutabe, Don Irikefe Okirikpo, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and several others.


A winner has been selected in the IAAF’s contest for the best photograph of the year taken by a fan photographer.

Held alongside the Photograph of the Year award for professional photographers, fan photographers were invited to submit their own entries via social media. The four finalists in the contest for professional photographers formed the panel to determine the winner of the contest for fan photographers.

The winning entry came from Andrew Smith, whose photograph of Mo Farah at London’s Big Half impressed the panellists.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am!” said Smith. “I went to spectate at the Big Half to watch my club-mates from Headington Road Runners. I was stood on the barriers just close to the halfway point and tried to ensure I had a clear view of the moment Mo Farah came round the corner. I took a burst of about 50 photographs to try to catch the perfect image.

© Andrew Smith

“Mo Farah is a hero and an inspiration to me, so to have him in my winning shot makes it even more special,” he added. “I will be competing against him at the 2019 London Marathon, but sadly I don’t think I will be as close to him then as I was this day!”

The judges complimented Smith’s winning image. “He caught the movement well,” they said. “The photo is very sharp with good composition. It’s a nicely framed image.”

Smith will receive travel, accommodation and tickets for two for an IAAF Diamond League meeting of his choice.



Eliud Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen have been named the male and female World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018, held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Tuesday (4).

Kipchoge underlined his status as the world’s most dominant distance runner. The 34-year-old Kenyan won the London Marathon in April in 2:04:17 to finish comfortably ahead of one of the deepest marathon fields in history.

Five months later, he won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39 to smash the world record. His time in the German capital was 78 seconds faster than the previous world record, representing the biggest single improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.

Not content with being the best triple jumper in the world, Ibarguen also tested herself against the world’s best in the long jump this year – and consistently came out on top in that too.

The34-year-old Colombian won both horizontal jumps at the Central American and?Caribbean Games, the IAAF Continental Cup and at the IAAF Diamond League finals – winning the latter two titles in two different cities within the space of 24 hours.

She was unbeaten in all eight of her triple jump competitions, ending the year with a world-leading mark of 14.96m in her specialist event and a national record of 6.93m in the long jump.

Eliud Kipchoge
© Getty Images

Male Rising Star – Armand Duplantis

Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis won the senior European title by breaking his own world U20 record three times within the competition. He went over 5.95m, 6.00m and 6.05m on his first attempts, winning with a height that has been bettered outdoors only by Sergey Bubka.

Earlier in the year he won the world U20 title in Tampere with a championship record of 5.82m and won on home soil at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, beating many of the world’s leading senior pole vaulters.

Female Rising Star – Sydney McLaughlin

US sprinter Sydney McLaughlin broke her own world U20 400m hurdles record of 52.75. Not only was that mark the fastest time in the world this year, it also moved her into the top 10 on the world all-time list.

Undefeated in all of her races at 400m flat and the 400m hurdles, she won the US collegiate title in Eugene.

Earlier in the year she recorded the fastest ever indoor performances by an U20 athlete at 300m and 400m, clocking 36.12 and 50.36 respectively. She ended the year as the world U20 leader for the 200m indoors and outdoors, the 400m indoors and outdoors, the 400m hurdles and the 300m indoors.

IAAF President’s Award – Andreas Brugger

A former shot putter and Swiss champion in the event back in 1955, Andreas Brugger, now 91, is best known for his tenure as meeting director of Zurich’s iconic Weltklasse.

During his time in the role, 19 world records were set at Weltklasse and he transformed it into one of the most prestigious meetings in the world.

© Getty Images

IAAF Coaching Achievement of the Year – Joe Vigil

In his 50-year coaching career, Joe Vigil has worked as US team coach on two Olympic teams, seven IAAF World Cross Country Championships and four Pan American Games.

Over the years he has guided the likes of 2004 Olympic marathon champion Stefano Baldini, Olympic silver medallist Meb Keflezighi, Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor and 2013 world 800m silver medallist Brenda Martinez. In total, athletes he has coached have achieved 20 medals at global championships.

IAAF Woman of the Year Award – Evelyn Claudio Lopez

Puerto Rico’s Evelyn Claudio Lopez has dedicated her life to promoting the cause of women’s athletics. She is Chairperson of the NACAC Women’s Commission and General Secretary of the Association of Pan-American Athletics. She is also part of the IAAF’s Gender Leadership Working Group and in 2013 she produced a book, Living History of Women’s Athletics.

Athletics Photograph of the Year – Felix Sanchez Arrazola

The Spanish photographer’s image of an exhausted and mud-splattered Selemon Barega after winning the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar was judged to be the winner from this year’s shortlist of four photographs.



IAAF President Sebastian Coe this evening announced the creation of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque.

Coe also opened a public competition to design the plaque and launched a dedicated plaque website section for the new award.

Coe made the announcements while hosting 150 guests at an IAAF Heritage Legends Reception in the Meridien Beach Plaza Hotel, Monaco.

The audience included representatives and family members of several deceased athletics legends including Paavo Nurmi, Jesse Owens, Fanny Blankers-Koen and Emil Zatopek. On stage each family presented Coe with historic artefacts from their relatives’ famous careers by donation to the IAAF Heritage Collection.

Coe commented: “The IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque is a location-based recognition which highlights, celebrates and links together iconic and historic athletics competitions, careers, performances, cities, venues, landmarks and culture around the world.”

A uniquely designed plaque will be permanently and publicly displayed at a location closely associated with each recipient.

Coe continued: “On the same principle that London’s world-famous blue plaque scheme celebrates notable people who have lived and worked in the British capital, the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque sets out to recognise an outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of athletics.”

The plaque can be awarded in five different and broad categories (city; competition; legend; landmark; culture – full criteria here). “This new award offers us the flexibility to honour locations across our multi-layered global sport,” said Coe.

A dozen locations covering all six IAAF continental areas, directly associated with a dozen legends were announced as the inaugural recipients of the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque (in chronological order):

• Emil Voigt (GBR) – Manchester Harriers & Athletics Club, Manchester.

• Eric Lemming (SWE) / IAAF Foundation 1912 – Stockholm Olympic stadium, Stockholm.

• Paavo Nurmi (FIN) – Paavo Nurmi Games & Stadium, Turku.

• Mildred Didrikson (USA) – Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum, Beaumont, Texas.

• Chuhei Nambu (JPN) – Meiji Jingu Gaien Nikoniko Park, Tokyo.

• Jesse Owens (USA) – Ferry Field, University of Michigan Wolverines, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

• Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) – Fanny Blankers-Koen Games & Stadium, Hengelo.

• Emil Zatopek (CZE) – Golden Spike & M?stský Stadion, Ostrava.

• Adhemar Da Silva (BRA) – Centro Esportivo e de Lazer Tietê, Sao Paulo.

• Betty Cuthbert (AUS) – Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust, Sydney.

• Abebe Bikila (ETH) – Abebe Bikila Stadium, Addis Ababa.

• Irena Szewinska (POL) – Stadion Zawiszy Imienia, Bydgoszcz.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe

Coe, commenting about the first locations, said: “There would be no point in us placing plaques on the wall of every Olympic stadium as, while they have been the scene of countless epic competitions at the pinnacle of our sports history, these are already well-known landmarks. Instead we are looking to highlight lesser known locations associated with equally outstanding performances.”

“Many of the stadiums and tracks which we recognise today have already vanished and these plaques will be a permanent reminder of the incredible athletics deeds which took place at those locations.”

To illustrate, Japan’s Chuhei Nambu is the only man ever to have held the world record in both horizontal jumps. He set his long jump record in 1931 in the Meiji Jingu stadium which is now long since demolished. In fact, two stadiums have since been built on that spot. This is the site where the former National Stadium, which hosted the 1964 Olympic Games, stood. That is also now gone and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium is now rising in its place.

Likewise Ferry Field, where Jesse Owens famously set four world records in 45 minutes on one afternoon in 1935, is also in transition mode. Modern athletics facilities have now been opened elsewhere in Ann Arbor as the new home of the University of Michigan Wolverines’ track and field team.

Coe concluded: “The launch of this award is an exciting day for our sport as we begin to link together the competitions, personalities and performances worldwide which have played an important role in athletics rich history. It is important for our sports future that we recognise that legacy.”



With eight days to go until the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018, the finalists for the IAAF Photograph of the Year award have been selected.

From the 70 images that were submitted, a panel of judges – comprising Anthony Edgar, Bob Martin, Raquel Cavaco-Nunes and Dwight Phillips – were given the task to whittle down the entries to three. A tie for third resulted in four finalists this year. You can view the nominated images here.

The nominated photographers:

Felix Sanchez Arrazola, for his image of Selemon Barega after winning at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza. A frequent contributor to Runner’s World Spain since 2005, Sanchez regularly contributes to Spanish newspapers Marca, AS, El Mundo among many others.

John Sibley, for his image of Elisavet Pesiridou after a fall in the 60m hurdles at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018. A staff photographer at Action Images and Reuters since 1991, Sibley has covered three Summer Olympic Games and several world and European athletics championships.

Michael Steele, for his image of Priscilla Frederick in the high jump at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. A veteran sports photographer with more than three decades of experience, Steele joined Getty Images in 1999 where he specialises in athletics coverage.


Morgan Treacy, for his image of Adam Kszczot celebrating his 800m victory at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018. A graduate of Swansea University, Treacy is based in Dublin where he’s worked as a staff photographer for the Inpho Photography agency since 2002. Treacy has won numerous national and international awards, including the International Rugby Board Photo of the Year in 2009.

The winner will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 on Tuesday 4 December.

Additionally, 25 shortlisted images will form part of a photography exhibition which will be held alongside the IAAF Athletics Awards from 1-5 December at the Le Meridien Hotel in Monaco.

The four finalists will also form the panel to determine the winner of the competition for fan photographers.