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Football, Money-Laundering Vehicle – Study

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The multi-billion dollar global football sector has become a vehicle for money laundering and other forms of corruption, requiring an international response, a study published last week stated.
“Money laundering through the football sector is revealed to be deeper and more complex than previously understood,” said the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body formed to fight money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Paris-based group said its analysis found that “there is more than anecdotal evidence indicating that a variety of money flows and or financial transactions may increase the risk of money laundering through football.”
The football sector has in addition provided opportunities for other criminal activities such as trafficking in human beings and drugs, according to the FATF.
Based on responses to a questionnaire received last October from government and football authorities in 25 countries, more than 20 cases of football-related money laundering were detected, the task force said.
The cases ranged from the smuggling of large amounts of cash derived from apparently illegal transactions to more complex operations.
“Investments in football clubs can be used to integrate money of illegal origin in the financial system,” the study found. “Football clubs are indeed seen by criminals as the perfect vehicles for money laundering.”
Football since the early 1990s has undergone massive commercialisation through expanded television rights and corporate ownership. Player transfer payments have now reached “astounding dimensions,” the study said.
While there are no overall figures on the global financial scope of the football sector, the European market alone, according to the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance, was worth 13.8 billion euros (19 billion dollars), or 0.1 per cent European Union gross domestic product in 2007.
“The cross border money flows that are involved may largely fall outside the control of national and supranational football organisations, giving opportunities to move and launder money.”
Betting too enables huge flows of money to take place outside the control of governing bodies.
The FATF study found that “several cases linked to trafficking in human beings involve individuals directly or indirectly linked to the world of football.”
It described the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of players in Africa and Latin America as “unclear.”
And it said that with forbidden drugs and other substances now widely available over the Internet, there is expanded scope for organised crime to operate.
The study said that to fight corruption in football a greater understanding of the risks of money laundering associated with the game is needed on the part of government bodies and the private sector.
It argued that given the international nature of the sport, there should be greater standardisation of regulations governing management of the football sector worldwide.
“International cooperation and information sharing are key factors in the fight against money laundering” in football, the study also stressed.

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CAFCC: Rivers United Defeats Al Masry 2-1 In Aba

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Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, yesterday at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, saw off Al Masry of Egypt 2-1 in the first leg  of the CAF Confederation Cup, (CAFCC) The pride of Rivers got the early lead in the 24 minutes of the first half by Uche Onwuasonaya while the Egyptian, equalised  three minutes after .
In the 35th minutes, Ishaq Kayode restored United to the lead which was assisted by Malachi Ohawume.
Speaking with Tidesports shortly after the game, the Sole administrator of Rivers United FC, Barrister Christopher Green, described the result as not what they expected.
According to him, they expected the pride of Rivers to have scored more than the two goals but well, they still need to fight back in the second leg.
“ Not what we expected.Well it was a highling contested game.
But we need to fight back in the return leg,” Green said.
Green who is also the Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Real Madrid Football Academy  further explained that, the pride of Rivers will have to fight back to get the ticket to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.

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Why Budweiser Brought Terry, Carlos To Nigeria – Adedeji

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Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc., Tolulope Adedeji, in this interview with newsmen talks about Nigerians’ passion for football and the global impacts of Budweiser Game of Kings, among other sundry issues
Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, understands the love for football by all Nigerians. Football is one of Nigerian’s strongest passions. The love for football goes beyond watching matches to the banter that connects consumers online and offline.
According to Adedeji, every fan believes they know what’s best for their team and always have something to say about managers and coaches’ decisions. The Budweiser Game of Kings aimed to create a unique experience for consumers.
She noted that consumers get to have a say on what happens on the pitch by being the team managers of Kings FC captained by John Terry and Kings FC, captained by Roberto Carlos. And for the first time, both international players played alongside Nigerian Professional Football League players.
As the official beer of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, the aim was to bring two international football greats from the Premier League and La Liga. And after months of research among football fans in Nigeria, we identified John Terry and Roberto Carlos as two international players who have impacted the Nigerian players and fans over the years and they both formed the perfect duo for the campaign.
She explained that the idea by Budweiser was to use the opportunity to put the Nigerian professional league under the spotlight. We decided to partner with the Nigerian Professional League. Allow our very own professional league players to play alongside the international legends on the same pitch.
She said that the campaign was successful beyond our expectations. Budweiser gained massive media attention and every football lover was excited to be a part of the campaign. Several fans were at the stadium and millions watched the match from their homes on television. The match was broadcast across NTA Network, STV Network and SuperSport Channels on GoTV and DStv. Others also watched online on YouTube and other Budweiser social media platforms.
Budweiser created a first of its kind experience for the Nigerian professional league players and fans with a series of events that they will live to remember for a long time.
“As the official beer of the FIFA World Cup, Premier League and Spanish La Liga, Budweiser’s commitment to creating unique football experiences in Nigeria remains intact and, we are planning something even bigger for the World Cup year in 2022.
“Consumers interested in becoming managers were required to look under the crown cork of Budweiser for the unique code that gives them a chance to participate in the draw to become managers. Successful consumers selected from the draws received invites to audition for the manager position,” she said.
”The audition panel consisted of officials from the National Professional League organising committee. The audition panel, therefore, conducted the interviews to determine the managers.
“Budweiser is committed to consistently bringing consumers new and exciting experiences. To stay in touch, I will suggest you follow our social media pages @BudweiserNigeria.
“Football is one of the platforms that unite the world, and it is a strong passion point of Nigerian consumers. Budweiser is therefore committed to bringing consumers elevated experiences and joy.” She concluded.

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Firm Honours Jonathan With Wrestling Competition, Other Sports

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Renew Empire Group of Companies based in  Republic of Turkey and Bayelsa State, in Nigeria, says it would commemorate former President Goodluck Jonathan’s birthday with a wrestling competition, other sports and cultural displays annually.
Speaking with newsmen in Otuoke, home town of the former president, at the weekend, Managing Director/CEO of the company, Engineer Gospel Obolo identified sports as having the capacity to reduce crime and criminality in the society.
According to him, wrestling is the number one sports in Ijaw-land, adding that no meaningfully engaged youth would take to crime.
“We’ve been planning this event for almost a year now. We decided to take a date which would coincide with the celebration of our icon, former president’s  birthday so as to use these wrestling and the other sporting and cultural activities to commemorate his birthday by drawing the attention of the world.
This is the maiden edition,but we intent to carry out this programme annually.With sports,we can create jobs for our teeming youth and other unemployed citizens of this country,” Engr. Obolo said.
The Tidesports reports that the maiden edition of the event which was tagged, ‘Ibe Onin’ is expected to last for 17 days and has since begun with musical performance by notable artists and mock traditional wrestling trials.
In the same vein,the Paramount ruler of Otuoke, His Royal Highness, Ariwareni Paul(Oke xi) has also described the idea behind the event as unique.
The monarch who spoke through the second deputy paramount ruler of the community, HRH Mirobebh Dogood Akpufu decried the spate of youth restiveness in the area, saying that  an event of this magnitude would not only curb youth restiveness, but can also create jobs for youths.
He commended the organisers for the feat, just as he noted that Bayelsa was blessed with abundant talents and tourism potentials waiting to be harnessed for the economic advantage.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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