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Uefa Calls for Posponement of Fifa Election

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European football governing body, Uefa, says Friday’s Fifa presidential election should be postponed following the arrest of high-ranking Fifa officials in Zurich today.

Seven Fifa officials were arrested and detained for separate probes by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, two days to the 65th Congress at the Hallestadion in Zurich.

European football governing body has not made secret how it plans not to support the re-election of 79-year-old Blatter in recent months. An informal meeting was scheduled ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final, where they looked into the recent controversy at Fifa.

President of German Football Association, Wolfgang Niersbach, said: “It would be shocking if the grave allegations against FIFA members turn out to be true. What’s happening in Zurich, days ahead of the FIFA congress, is shocking and harmful for the whole of football.”

He added: “We will discuss within UEFA how to act at the upcoming congress in the wake of these incidents.”

U.S. Prosecutors have accused not less than 14 people of accepting bribes and kickbacks worth over $150million (£98million) in an investigation which dates back to 1991.

The 65th FIFA Congress is Slated for Friday in Zurich. Image: Getty.

The 65th FIFA Congress is Slated for Friday in Zurich. Image: Getty.


Swiss authorities have began separate proceedings into suspected cases of fraudulent/criminal misconduct and money laundering linked with allocation of the next two World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar. They confiscated electronic data and documents at Fifa head office shortly after the raid at the Baur au Lac hotel at about 6am.

Former Fifa Vice President, Jack Warner, is accused of taking bribes worth $10million (£6.5million) from the South African government to host the 2010 World Cup. The ex-football administrator from Trinidad and Tobago, who was not among the seven persons arrested at the. five-star hotel in Zurich on Wednesday morning, released a statement denying the allegation, saying: “the actions of Fifa no longer concern me.”

The AP reports that authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have confirmed that arrest warrant has been issued for Warner.

Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has, at this time, not been indicted. The Swiss is running for a fifth term in office and faces opposition from Jordanian Prince, Ali Bin al-Hussein- a Fifa vice-president for Asia.

Among those arrested is Jeffrey Webb, current Fifa vice-president and head of the Concacaf federation that serves North and Central America whom Blatter has long touted as his possible successor. Others are Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel and Jose Maria Marin.

Sports marketing executives Alejandro Burzaco, Aaron Davidson, Hugo Jinkis and Mariano Jinkis could also face charges. José Margulies, an intermediary who facilitated illegal payments, will also be quizzed.

Six of the seven men arrested on Wednesday are contesting extradition to the United States, according to Swiss authorities.

US Attorney General Loretta E Lynch said: “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States.”

“They corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves.

“This Department of Justice is determined to end these practices to root out corruption and bring wrongdoers to justice.”

If convicted on racketeering charges, the defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.

Fifa bans 11 from football related activities

Meanwhile, FIFA has issued a provisional ban on “11 individuals from carrying out any football-related activities on a national and international level.” The arrested seven headline the list of those suspended by Fifa, as well as former president of CONMEBOL Nicolaz Leoz, ex-US football administrator, Chuck Blazer, who had reportedly provided information to the FBI on irregularities at world football’s governing body, Daryll Warner and dad Jeffery.

Chairman of Fifa’s adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert said in a statement: ““The charges are clearly related to football and are of such a serious nature that it was imperative to take swift and immediate action. The proceedings will follow their course in line with the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

Blatter has also released a statement and below is the full transcript from the Fifa president in response to the corruption probe:

“This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organisation. We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.

“As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.

“While there will be many who are frustrated with the pace of change, I would like to stress the actions that we have taken and will continue to take. In fact, today’s action by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General was set in motion when we submitted a dossier to the Swiss authorities late last year.

“Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game. Following the events of today, the independent Ethics Committee –€“ which is in the midst of its own proceedings regarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups — took swift action to provisionally ban those individuals named by the authorities from any football-related activities at the national and international level. These actions are on top of similar steps that FIFA has taken over the past year to exclude any members who violate our own Code of Ethics.

“We will continue to work with the relevant authorities and we will work vigorously within FIFA in order to root out any misconduct, to regain your trust and ensure that football worldwide is free from wrongdoing.”

Officials from all 209 affiliate members of the Fifa are gathered in Zurich for the 29 May congress.

Football

Diego Maradona: Biography And Facts (Video)

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Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

The news of the death of Diego Maradona has sent shock waves to football lovers around the world.

The 60-year-old football legend died on Wednesday, November 25, after suffering from cardiac arrest in his home country.

The country of Argentina is currently grief-stricken over the demise of the 1986 World Cup winner. His body arrived at the presidential palace in the country to lie in state. 

Maradona, who was born on 30 October 1960, holds a record that is nearly unmatched. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.

The footballer came from humble beginnings and he received his first soccer ball as a gift at age 3 and he developed a soft spot for the game.

At age eight, Maradona was discovered by a talent scout while he was playing in his neighbourhood club, Estrella Roja. 

The footballer, at age 12, thrilled spectators with his mastery of the art of football during the halftime intermissions of first division games.

He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

Sadly, his life wasn’t always all sunshine and rainbows as he was addicted to cocaine from the mid-1980s until 2004.

Maradona married long-time fiancée, Claudia Villafañe, on 7 November 1984, and they had two daughters. The couple later went their separate ways in 2004.

He listed Brazilian playmaker, Rivelino and Manchester United winger George Best among his inspirations growing up.

Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina between 1977 and 1994 and he scored 34 goals at international level before ending his career.

He had the best years of his club career in Italy, as he played a massive role in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons. 

He was the all-time leading goalscorer for Napoli, with 115 goals, until his record was broken by Marek Hamšík in 2017.

Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

As a coach, Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia de La Plata.

 

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Football

Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack

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BREAKING: Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack

Diego Maradona

Argentina and Napoli legend, Diego Maradona has passed away at the age of 60 following a heart attack.

The Gimnasia coach had been hospitalised at the start of November, days after celebrating the landmark birthday, after complaining of low spirits and fatigue.

Recall that some weeks ago, it was reported that the football legend had a blood clot on the brain, which doctors later revealed was operated on successfully.

Also Read: Manchester City Could Offer Barcelona Star, Lionel Messi A Pre-contract In January

Two weeks after being discharged from the hospital and recovering at home, he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning.

The Argentine national team’s official Twitter account confirmed the news on Wednesday.

https://twitter.com/Argentina/status/1331637593457520642

 

 

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Betting

The Contribution of Sports Betting to the Economy of Nigeria

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Most of us have grown up with gambling lore that left us petrified to our core. Gambling ruins lives, gives rise to financial and legal problems.

This is all that we have grown up learning. However, this is only partly true and must not be taken too seriously. Sure, gambling has its disadvantages and evils.

However, the activity, in its entirety, is not addictive. It is what humans make out of it. Human beings give up self-control and spiral into a bottomless pit of despair due to that.

Gambling, when indulged in appropriately, does no harm. In fact, it is one of the biggest industries and contributes significantly to the global economy.

The moot point of this article is to have a look at the betting industry of Nigeria. While we do that, we shall also examine how much the industry contributes to the economy of the nation.

Therefore, let us now have a look at the industry and venture a few important points throughout
the article.

How Does the Betting Industry of Nigeria Look Like?

The gambling industry of Nigeria resides in the areas of gray. One cannot look at it in either black or white.

Gambling activities are considered illegal in Nigeria, with the exception of a few. And betting on sports happens to be one of those exceptions.

Online gambling in Nigeria is allowed only on offshore-owned and operated casinos. Locally operated casinos are not allowed to function in the land.

Now speaking of betting, one must note that the betting industry happens to be a key player in Nigeria’s economy. There are over fifty functional and legal betting sites in Nigeria.

As we mentioned before, betting is entirely legal, unlike online gambling. All those who want to gamble on sites like Usafriendlypokersites.com can do so with the use of VPNs.

Nigerians are incredibly passionate as a people about their sports. That is why the idea of making money by betting on their favorite sports has a lot of appeal.

With about 200 million people in the country, the betting industry has found a solid footing in the market. It has been estimated that over the last few decades, Nigeria has grown to become the second-largest betting market in South Africa.

Over 60 million people find entertainment through online betting sites in South Africa. Therefore, one can understand, going by the statistics that Nigeria has evolved over the last few years when it comes to betting.

Reasons for this Massive Growth in the Popularity of Online Betting:

One of the primary reasons for this massive popularity in online betting is the increase in technological innovations.

Nigeria, over the past few years, has seen technological expansion and super-fast connectivity. Almost everyone has access to smartphones now.

This is what makes it so easy for people of every age group to bet online. The constraints that the nation had in technology and connectivity are no longer an issue.

It is estimated that in the next few years, the country shall see more such innovations and expansion. This will, therefore, act further as a catalyst to the growth of the online betting industry.

The Government is Now Tightening the Noose around Online Betting to Raise Revenue:

As we already mentioned a few times before that Nigeria had strict laws related to online gambling.

The government also did not pay much attention to the betting industry. However, things have changed now and shall change further down the line.

The Nigerian government is now formulating some strict laws so that it could pull the revenue from betting into the coffers.

This is also one of the most significant reasons for the growth in Nigeria’s economy. Online betting is a lucrative industry, and we can already deduce that from we discussed.

With the government paying more attention to the industry, crime rates can be reduced, and better revenue can be raised.

If anything, the involvement of the Nigerian government shall only serve as a fresh change. Plus, with a better structure in the betting industry, more people can find jobs and livelihood.

Wrapping It Up:

We can see how the online betting industry of Nigeria has become one of the chief contributors
to its economy.

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