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Breaking: Motsepe in line to become next CAF President

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Patrice Motsepe will become the president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) later this week after Ahmad’s five-year ban was reduced to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) on Monday.

The path for billionaire Motsepe to become the first South African to run Caf has been entirely cleared after three of his rivals – Jacques Anouma, Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya – withdrew their candidacies over the weekend.

The final obstacle to the 59-year-old’s coronation on Friday was a potential comeback for recent Caf president Ahmad, who had needed to entirely overturn his ban to be able to contest the elections.

The 61-year-old from Madagascar failed to do this, even if he did succeed in more than halving his sanction and seeing his fine reduced from just over $200,000 to a little over $50,000.

While he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the arrangements concerning Caf’s business dealings with French company Tactical Steel, Ahmad was still found to have breached three other Fifa ethics rules.

“The CAS Panel has partially upheld the appeal and has reduced the length of the suspension imposed on Mr Ahmad to two years, starting today, less the period of suspension already served between 19 November 2020 and 29 January 2021, and has also reduced the fine,” Cas said in a statement.

When banned by Fifa in November, the global body had cited Ahmad’s ‘Duty of Loyalty’ breach – which was in connection to his role in the deal between Caf and Tactical Steel, which mainly manufactures gym equipment, for the latter to provide sportswear.

This was struck off by CAS who ‘cleared Mr Ahmad of any breach of the ‘Tactical Steel’ contracts’ owing to lack of evidence to ‘support the conclusion’ that the Malagasy, who took charge of Caf in 2017, had personally profited from the deal.

Nonetheless, he was still adjudged to have broken ethics codes relating to the ‘offering and accepting gifts or other benefits’, ‘abuse of power’ and ‘misappropriation of funds’.

There was unanimity among the three-person Cas panel regarding a lack of proper accounting, regarding payments made to Ahmad, for ‘various financial transactions, acceptance of payment in cash, bank transfer and bonuses without a contractual or regulatory basis’.

However, the panel only reached a majority when ruling that Ahmad’s organisation of a religious Umrah pilgrimage for Africa’s Muslim-only presidents to Saudi Arabia breached rules relating to the offering of gifts in addition to the misappropriation of funds.

Mining magnate Motsepe, Africa’s ninth-richest manwith a wealth of $2.9 billion according to Forbes magazine, will now lead Caf into the future.

The owner of South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, Africa’s continental club champions in 2016, will be crowned Caf president when the elections take place in Morocco on Friday (12 March).

On Saturday, he spoke at a press conference in Mauritania alongside his three onetime rivals – Ivorian Anouma, Senghor of Senegal and Mauritanian Yahya – and Fifa president Gianni Infantino about the decision to come together to back only his candidacy.

“African football needs collective wisdom, but also the exceptional talent and wisdom of every president of every country and every member association,” he said. “That’s what gives me confidence.

“When we all work together with the experience, talent, and passion, football in Africa will experience success and growth that it hasn’t experienced in the past. It requires all of us.”

Motsepe, who outlined his ten-point manifesto in Johannesburg in late February, reiterated his desire to build partnerships and sponsorship within the private sector to boost Caf as he spoke in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott prior to Saturday’s African Under-20 championship final.

He also spoke of a belief that an African nation will win the World Cup itself in the near future.

“Our objective must be that one of the countries will win the World Cup,” he said. “I think it will happen soon. The talent is there.

“Continuous investment in youth and academies and making competitions globally competitive will be key. We do need the private sector to get involved with financial resources. The commitment to improve and continue to invest is there and the governance transparency is an excellent foundation.”

(BBC)


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Breaking: 5000 displaced as Boko Haram unleash terror on Adamawa communities

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Up to 5,000 persons, mainly women and children have been displaced following weekend attack by Boko Haram in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa.

Dr Mohammed Sulaiman, the executive secretary of the Adamawa state emergency Management agency, announced this in Yola on Sunday.

The Executive Secretary disclosed that many other communities from neighbouring local governments were also displaced.

He recalled that the insurgents came in nine vehicles on Friday to attack Kwapre village in Dugwaba District of Hong Local Government Area.

Suleiman stated that the insurgents surrounded the village and killed seven people, including three children.


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Breaking: South-East Govs float new security squad amidst growing insecurity

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Five Southeast governors on Sunday announced setting up of a new security outfit known as Ebubeagu.

This was disclosed in a communique after a one-day security summit in Owerri, Imo state capital.

Read the full communique

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY SOUTH EAST GOVERNORS AND HEADS OF SECURITY AGENCIES AT THE END OF THE FIRST SOUTH EAST SECURITY SUMMIT HELD IN OWERRI ON SUNDAY APRIL 11th 2021

After exhaustive discussions on the current security challenges in the South East and with valuable contributions from participants at the first South East security summit in Owerri on this day Sunday April 11th 2021, it was resolved as follows:

  1. To strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East. The meeting strongly condemns the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.
  2. That the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges in the country. To this end, the meeting makes it absolutely clear that the South east will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits to a finish
  3. That the political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone.
  4. That the summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the south east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five south east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.
  5. That the heads of all the security agencies in the south east have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.
  6. That to fast track crime-busting in the south east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.
  7. That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the south east joint security platform.
  8. To applaud the initiative of the South east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.
  9. The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebube Agu.
  10. The meeting appreciated the formation of South East joint security outfit co. Named Ebubeagu. Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South East.
  11. South East Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow cps and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases.
  12. Meeting approve that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East .
  13. Meeting agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.
  14. Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.
  15. The meeting encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.

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Breaking: Iheanacho nets brace but Westham beat Leicester in Premier League clash

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West Ham defeated Nigeria’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi’s club 3-2 in their English Premier League encounter on Sunday.

Former Manchester United’s striker Lingard and Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice in the game.

In-form Lingard had scored twice in the first half before Leicester’s Bown goal in the second half.

Later in the second half, Iheanacho scored twice as Leicester launch fightback.


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