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All is now set to honour  60 Nigerian sports icons and  personalities that have won laurels  for  Nigeria  and those that have made meaningful  impact on sports development in the last sixty years . 

According to a press release by John Joshua Akanji the media aid to the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, the event  is part of activities organised by the Federal Government to celebrate  Nigeria’s  Diamond jubilee as an independent nation..

The Minister of Youth  and Sports Development Sunday Dare while receiving the Report of the Committee set up to collate the votes by Nigerians for the  60 awardees said the event was initiated  to reward excellence and hard work.

“We initiated this award because of the need to reward our heroes and heroines who have sweated to put the name of Nigeria on the world map. Unfortunately most of these patriots have died, but we are also consoled that many of them are still alive.

“Another import of the award is that it will encourage the younger athletes and indeed Nigerians in other fields to always give their best to the country, knowing that their efforts would be appreciated by the country”.  

The Minister appealed to other deserving awardees who may not have been voted for in the first edition to be patient, assuring  that they could also be rewarded in subsequent editions.


“I appreciate the effort the collation  committee at  arriving  at these 60 names because the truth is that there are so many more deserving Nigerians but for the fact that we wanted to restrict the number to 60 to commemorate the Diamond jubilee of our country”. Dare stated. 

The event which will hold at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja on  Friday 16 October 2020  is expected  to be graced by President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the Federal Executive Council as well  some of the awardees and members of  their families.

The committee received over 3,500 nominations who were voted for through various social media channels, television, radio and other  platforms. Arrangements  are being made  to have the programme  live on television, radio and  live streaming on various social medial platforms.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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