President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick and another Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed â€˜Freshâ€™ were the cynosure of eyes at the inaugural edition of the New Telegraph Awards held at the Balmoral Events Centre of Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos on Saturday night.
Pinnick, also a Member of the CAF Executive Committee, CAF Emergency Committee and President of AFCON, as well as being a Member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, was named the Sports Administrator of the Year, to a resounding ovation in the auditorium.
Apart from taking Nigerian Football to a high level of global reckoning in football politics, the Pinnick-led NFFâ€™s adroit man-management, focus, energy and dynamism saw the Super Eagles conduct a sterling 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, in which they qualified from a so â€“called â€˜Group of Deathâ€™ with a match to spare, and left second-placed Zambia stranded six points behind.
There has also been unprecedented sponsorship agreements with top â€“notch corporate bodies, and a landmark agreement with the Super Eagles players and management on the teamâ€™s share of expected income from FIFA on 2018 World Cup participation underscored a transparent and refreshing new way of doing things.
Ahmed â€˜Fresh,â€™ who is Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee and much respected for his contributions to grassroots football and youth empowerment, was honoured with the Grassroots Football Development award. He is also a Member of the CAF Technical and Development Committee.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, House of Repsâ€™ Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Niger Delta Development Commission MD Nsima Ekere, parliamentarian Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, JAMB Registrar Professor Ishaq Oloyede, wrestler Odunayo Adekuoroye and Nollywood stars Richard Mofe-Damijo and Sola Sobowale were among those also honoured on the night.