Qatar's Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was among those to receive the ANOC Order of Merit award at its General Assembly in Doha ©ANOC

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) have named the winners of the 2019 Order of Merit here today. 

Introduced in 1983, they are voted for by representatives of each continental Olympic Association.

Four officials from Africa were among those honoured.

Niger Olympic Committee President Issake Ide for his work with taekwondo and Hamad Kalkaba Malboum "a long-term serving President of Cameroon Olympic Committee".

Vinakpon Julien Minavoa of Benin was described as "a specialist in Olympic education he has played a key role in a number of educational projects".

These included founding the National Olympic Academy, a gathering for the study of Olympic matters.

NIgerian Olympic Committee President Habu Gumel was recognised for his service as treasurer of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.

Fijian administrator Lorraine Mar received the award "especially for her tireless contribution in promoting the development and participation of women and girls in sport".

There was also an merit award for Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani for "his great effort in the process of sport in Qatar".

The tangible insignia is similar to the Olympic order with a chain bearing the crest of ANOC.

International Olympic Committee Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jacques Rogge and Thomas Bach have all been laureates in the past .

Other previous winners included controversial Uzbek boxing official Gafur Rakhimov and Cuban President Fidel Castro.