The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has felicitated with the President of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), Mr.Gianni Merlo on his well deserved reelection during the 84th AIPS Congress which took place in Rome, Italy.

President of SWAN, Sir Honour Sirawoo while reacting to the development said for the fact that Merlo was returned by acclamation for another four year term underlines his sterling leadership qualities which has impacted positively on the AIPS.

Sirawoo who disclosed that Merlo's Presidency has benefitted Africa, noted that member Associations from the continent were now being accorded more recognition by the world body.

The SWAN leader also congratulated the re-elected Vice President, Evelyn Watta of Kenya as well as Morad Moutaouakkil from Morocco who was elected as member of AIPS Executive Committee, and praised the incumbent President of AIPS-Africa, Mitchell Obi for the feat. 

He said it was nice seeing the global body hold a physical congress after the global Covid-19 pandemic; just as he recalled the technical support the body rendered to member Associations to cushion the effect of the pandemic and its attendant lockdown.

Sirawoo recalled some of the achievements of Merlo so far including the launch of the AIPS Sport Media Awards (four editions since 2018), AIPS Young Reporters Programme as well as the launch of AIPS e- College.

On the appeal to Member Associations to help fight fake news, the SWAN President made commitment to blocking space for fake news in Nigeria's sports sector.

The newly elected AIPS Executive Committee members who will serve till 2026 are; President, Gianni Merlo (Italy), First vice-president, Esat Yilmaer (Turkey), Vice-presidents, Zsuzsa Csisztu (Hungary), Ioannis Daras (Greece), Mohammed Hiji Ali (Qatar) and Evelyn Watta (Kenya).

Other members include; Malik Amjad Aziz(Pakistan), Adel Al Zahrani (Saudi Arabia), Gao Chao (China), Vicente Dattoli (Brazil), Emanuel Fantaneanu (Romania), Josef Langer (Austria), Morad Moutaouakkil (Morocco), Ernesto Ortiz (Uruguay), Juan Antonio Prieto (Spain), Ahmadi Seyed Abdolhamid (Iran), Hiroshi Takeuchi (Japan), Marc Ventolluiac (France) and Jose Zidar (Slovenia).

Born in 1947, Gianni Merlo was re-elected for the fifth term on October 5, and was first elected in 2005 in Marrakech Morocco to climax the 84th Congress of the Association founded in 1924.

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