Home » Infantino and Morocco’s Walid Al-Rakraki honoured at Dubai’s MBR Creative Sports Awards
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Infantino and Morocco’s Walid Al-Rakraki honoured at Dubai’s MBR Creative Sports Awards



November 23 – Three of the major honours at Dubai’s 2023 MBR Creative Sports Awards went to football at the awards ceremony in Dubai this week.

Launched in 2009 by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the awards had the initial objective of promoting Dubai as a global sports innovation hub and were initially local and Arab-focused. They were expanded internationally in 2012 under Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and widened to recognise excellence in individual, group, and corporate sports creativity.

Part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), it champions knowledge dissemination, future vision, leadership, community empowerment, and sustainable human development.

Football is always front and centre in the Arab world with the UAE having hosted a number of Club World Cups as well as the expanded AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Qatar hosted the 2022 World Cup and Saudi Arabia is pretty nailed on to host 2034 and will host the next edition of FIFA’s Club World Cup this December.

The latest ceremony honoured FIFA president Gianni Infantino with its International Sports Personality Award, citing his leadership in bringing new technology into football, expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams and the prioritisation of the women’s game.

The Arab Sports Personality Award went to Kuwait’s Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Subah who as well as heading the country’s football federation, also chairs the Kuwait Olympic Committee and Basketball Association.

Perhaps the easiest of the awards to give for the judges was the Arab Coach Award that went to Moroccan national football team coach Walid Al-Rakraki who led his national team to the World Cup 2022 semi-final, the first African nation to do so.

Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed, the Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Award stated: “The Award continues its work based on the vision and directives of the wise leadership to create a better future for the sports sector not only in UAE but in the Arab World and the entire globe too, through sponsoring and honoring creative athletes and encouraging all staff in the sports sector to develop the level of work toward the promising creativity.”

There were 545 nominees across individual, team, and corporation categories, marking a 33% increase from the 11th edition. The number of awardees also rose to 30 winners, and a new category for Arab junior athletes was introduced.

Source : Inside World Football

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