In a simple but impressive ceremony, Kunle Solaja along with 81 other journalists across the globe was honoured by the AIPS in conjunction with FIFA in Doha on Tuesday.
With nine World Cup coverages under his belt, Nigeria’s Kunle Solaja and South Africa’s Mark Gleeson, each with nine appearances at the World Cup are the only African decorated.
They were presented with certificates of achievement and replicas of the World Cup trophy. The certificate is jointly signed by the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino and the AIPS president, Gianni Merlo.
The AIPS is the world body of sports journalists. The presentation of the replica trophies was done by World Cup legend, Ronaldo of Brazil.
Among those honoured is the 88 year old Enrique Macaya Márquez, a freelance journalist from Argentina.
His 64-year association with the World Cup has seen him cover the global event an amazing 17 times, surpassing that of Uruguay’s Diego Lucero, who until his death in 1995 was known to be the only man to have attended all World Cup finals from 1930.
Before his death, he was associated with the World Cup from 1930 to 1994.
Shortly after the presentations, Solaja was selected for special interview by the FIFA TV.