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‘Barca In Danger Of Bankruptcy, Decay’

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Fc Barcelona is in danger of economic bankruptcy and moral decay, according to presidential candidate Victor Font.
In an open letter to Barca members and the media, Font – the leader of the Si al futur group seeking to take control of the Camp Nou boardroom – offered a scathing assessment of the current behind-the-scenes turmoil at the LaLiga champions.
The unvarnished criticism arrives at the end of a turbulent week, with six of Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board resigning from their posts.
Outgoing Vice-President Emili Rousaud then made the explosive claim that “someone had the hand in the till” at the club – an accusation strongly rebuffed by Barcelona.
Rousaud also suggested possible impropriety regarding Barca’s alleged agreement with 13 Ventures, a PR company claimed by a report on a Spanish radio programme in Feburary to have been hired to clean up Bartomeu’s image on social media and disparage current and former players critical of his regime.
Both Barcelona and 13 Ventures denied the allegations but that episode, along with the controversial signing of Neymar in 2013, were both referenced by Font in his critique.
The letter read: “For some time now the project Si al futur has been warning Barca members that the club was heading towards the ‘perfect storm’ – it had to replace the best generation of footballers in history, build and finance the Espai Barca development project and compete against corporations with almost unlimited financial resources.
“And all this had to be done while preserving the ownership of the club in the hands of the members and its competitive capacity both in football and in all sections.
“If the risks were great, they have now become gigantic. We are in the midst of a pandemic that has brought the planet to a halt and will have effects in all walks of life, also in sport, that today we cannot yet foresee.
“Likewise, for months we have witnessed a shameful escalation of chapters in the club’s institutional behaviour in which the latest event hides the seriousness of the previous one, a process that culminated in recent days with accusations and serious reproaches among board members, and six abrupt resignations.
“And just as the only priority should be to get the club out of the crisis, the presidency announces a new remodelling of the board of directors in order to stay in power. What is at risk now is Barca as a whole.
“This is not a recent problem – we have experienced the sentencing of the club in the Neymar case, the disagreements made public between employees and players with executives and managers, and the audit of the case on social networks, which seems will confirm the scandal.
“Let’s add an erratic sports policy, the breaking up of the board of directors and the significant reduction in income due to the pandemic, and the result is the danger of economic bankruptcy and moral decay in which the club has settled. Game over.”
Font reiterated his assertion from earlier this month that Si al futur had put themselves at Bartomeu’s disposal to assist during the COVID-19 crisis and build a “common front”, only to be frustrated in those efforts.
Before laying out his group’s vision, Font made three demands of the Barca board – transparency over the club’s level of debt; delays to making non-essential structural decisions at this time, including Espai Barca; and “maximum prudence and transparency” on player purchases and sales.
Bartomeu is not obliged to call elections until 2021, when he will not be able to stand, although there is a growing demand for him to bring the date forward.
The Barca president’s standing has been weakened over recent months over apparent clashes with Lionel Messi over the star player’s future at the club and the handling of pay cuts given to the squad in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.

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D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket

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Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.

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Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45

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Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered  that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.

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