President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pinnick and Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr, have described The Sun Sports Personality of the Year 2017 Award, which they jointly won, as a great honour, saying it would spur them to do more for the country’s football.
Pinnick and Rohr will, on February 24, receive the award along 20 other outstanding Nigerians at the prestigious The Sun Awards holding at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria island, Lagos.
Speaking in Lagos, when a management team of The Sun Publishing Limited, led by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, formally notified them of the award, the duo said their recognition came at a time Nigerian national team is featuring in a major football event, the 2018 World Cup, in Russia.
According to Pinnick, “I’m honoured and happy to be one of the beneficiaries of this credible award from a platform noted forexcellence. I’m excited and proud of it. This award was made possible because of what we were able to achieve with the support of the government, Nigerians and The Sun. This would encourage me to do more.”
While dedicating the award to the “Nigerian football family,” the NFF president said: “This award is a great motivation for us to achieve our dream at the World Cup. We have a disciplined and dedicated team that can make Nigeria proud. I’m most grateful for this award.”
On his part, Rohr said The Sun award would propel the Super Eagles, which he oversees, to excel at the World Cup in Russia.
Said he: “I feel very honoured with this award and say a big thank you to The Sun. The award was made possibly by all those working with me, from all parts of Nigeria. I say thank you to my players and the staff that made this possible. The solidarity we have in our team is very good. We have a good team.
“The award has made me and my team proud and has given me an obligation to do well at the World Cup. I have a young team and our dream is to do well at the World Cup.”
The Super Eagles manager said with the unity, dedication and cooperation of all members, the Eagles could create an upset at the World Cup.
Earlier in his remarks, The Sun Managing Director told Pinnick and Rohr they were chosen for the award to celebrate their winning spirit.
He said the Sports Personality of the Year category of The Sun Awards is conferred on a “sports man or woman, official or administrator whose achievements, during,the period under review, brought the best to our sports and elevated our game to heights hitherto unknown.”
For Pinnick, who is winning the award for the second time, he said: “We say thunder does not strike at the same spot twice, but this is the first time an individual would be winning the award twice.
“Under your leadership, the Eagles became the first African team to land in the Russia 2018 World Cup in a grand style. In three years, your Board has won six major trophies, including the FIFA U17 World Cup, two Women AFCON titles, the Africa U23, Africa U20 men titles and Olympic men’s football bronze.”
Osagie said football lovers identify with Pinnick and Rohr’s commitment and celebrate them, adding: “Nigerians love to win and everyone is celebrating you because you have made Nigerians proud. You are as good as your last match. Everybody loves winner, but failure is an orphan. If you had not won, you would have seen the other side of Nigerians.”
On the entourage of Osagie are Executive Director, Special Duties, Mr. Bolaji Tunji; Editor, Sunday Sun, Alhaji Abdulfatah Oladeinde; Editor, Saturday Sun, Mr. Femi Babafemi and Editor, Sporting Sun, Mr. John Joshua Akanji.