Sky News Arabia, the multi-platform news organisation, honoured a group of Arab and international sports stars during this year’s edition of ‘Legends Night’, an event held at its signature Ramadan Tent. The event aims to honour the significant contributions of some of the most prominent regional and international sports icons.
Throughout the evening, a series of tributes was paid to the remarkable careers of football, UFC, jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts legends. Some of the sports legends that were honoured included: former Saudi Arabian football player Sami Al-Jaber, Dutch professional football manager and former player Clarence Seedorf, Ivorian professional football coach and former player Yaya Touré, and Russian UFC Undefeated World Champion Habib Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The event also honoured Emirati wrestler and grappler Faisal Al-Ketbi, Iraqi football goalkeeper Jalal Hassan, Iraqi professional footballer Aymen Hussein, Moroccan professional football manager and former player Walid Regragui, as well as several other significant Moroccan, Iraqi, and Emirati sports icons.
The event was attended by senior officials, VIPs, sports leaders in the region, football stars from across the Arab world, as well as sports aficionados and employees of Sky News Arabia.
A Well-Deserved Tribute
In his welcome speech, Nart Bouran, CEO of Sky News Arabia and International Media Investments noted that Sky News Arabia is proud to recognise the iconic achievements of the Legends celebrated throughout the night, as they have shown the world the importance of perseverance and determination, which serve as an inspiration to millions of fans around the world.
Through the ‘Legends Night’ event, Sky News Arabia also reaffirmed its commitment to supporting sports by providing unique sports content to its audience.
Honouring the Stars
During the event, Adnan Derjal, President of the Iraq Football Association, was recognised for the Best Gulf/Arab Federation; Jalal Hassan, a member of the Iraqi football goalkeeper was recognised as the Best Goalkeeper in the Gulf; Ayman Hussein, Iraqi professional footballer, was recognised as the Best Striker in the Gulf; Fouzi Lekjaa, President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, was recognised as the Best International Arab Federation; and Walid Regragui, Moroccan professional football manager and former player, was recognised as the Best International Arab Coach.
Walid Regragui commented: “We recognise the great amount of support that the Moroccan national team received during the last World Cup, we thank you for it. Next time, God willing, we will win.”
Furthermore, Abdul Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, was recognised for the Best Asian World Federation; Faisal Al-Ketbi, World Jiu-Jitsu Champion was recognised as the Best Asian World Athlete; Shamma Al Kalbani, Asian Jiu-Jitsu Champion, was recognised as the Best Emirati Asian Athlete; and Fouad Darwish, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the UAE Warriors, was recognised for the Best Emerging Sports Organisation. The Iraq Football Association, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, the UAE Warriors League, the Moroccan football team who won fourth place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the Iraq football team who was the champion of the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup, were also honoured during the night.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Sky News Arabia awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to former professional football players Sami Al-Jaber, Clarence Seedorf, Yaya Toure, and undefeated UFC mixed martial arts world champion Khabib Nurmukhamedov.
Khabib Nurmukhamedov said: “I have one of the best memories of my professional career here in Abu Dhabi in 2019. I was fighting in the US, and the first time when UFC came to Abu Dhabi, they put me in the main event and of course my father could come. He was with me in my corner because the US could not give him a visa, but it’s no problem here.”
“Thank you so much to Sky News Arabia, it’s a very big honour for me to get this award.” Nurmukhamedov added.
Many of the attendees who were honoured extended their appreciation to Sky News Arabia for its role in supporting sports and encouraging creativity in Arab sports. With this initiative, Sky News Arabia aims to shed light on the journey of notable stars and showcase their remarkable athletic achievements, to inspire younger generations.
The Sky News Arabia Ramadan Tent has made its grand return this year, following a temporary halt during the pandemic. In previous years, Sky News Arabia recognised a wide variety of international football stars during the previous editions of ’Legends Night’. The organisation also consistently hosts a series of events in the tent which includes participation from prominent figures such as entrepreneurs, diplomats, media figures, and celebrities.