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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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Team Nigeria wrestlers off to pre-Olympics camp

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The Nigeria wrestling contingent left Madrid, Spain for Germany in what is their last camping before the Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The Wrestlers which participated in Spanish Grand Prix, a pre-Olympic tournament in Madrid, had Esther Kolawole 62kg and Ogunsanya Christianah 53kg record bronze for Team Nigeria respectively.

Ogunsanya defeated her USA counterpart Brianne Gonzales (10-0) to win Bronze medal while Kolawole won Swedish Johanna Lindborg by (8-0) for the Bronze Medal.

Multiple time world medalist Odunayo Adekuoroye lost (4-4) on technical grounds to Norwegian Othile Hole in the quarter final. Similarly, African champion Hannah Reuben lost her first bout to Tatiana R. her Colombia opponent (3-0).

Reacting to the performance of the team, the female head coach Akuh Purity assessed it was an opportunity for the wrestlers to warm-up ahead of the Paris Games.

“It was a good outing for our girls in the sense that it offered us opportunity to look at areas we needed to improve on,” Purity stated. “It also gave the wrestlers the avenue to wrestle competitively although not as if it were to be in Paris, but it was great and we have known areas we need to improve upon.”

Before the team’s departure for Germany,  the Nigeria Wrestling Federation President Daniel Igali, urged  the contingents led by the Secretary General, Mohammed H. Maigidansanma, to learn from all that transpired in Madrid for their technical advantage.

 

 

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Stakeholders unveil plans for athletics dev

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Stakeholders in the southwest have moved to set up a trust fund for athletics initiatives in the zone, in order to drive positive changes in the management of track and field talents and events.

This is part of a series of recommendations made during the inaugural two-day Southwest Athletics Conference which ended in Abeokuta, Ogun State last Friday.

The conference was attended by 55 delegates representing the six states in the region and supported by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

In a communiqué jointly signed by the chairman of the working committee, Olatunde Makanju, and the secretary of the communique drafting committee, Oluyomi Oluwasanmi, the conference highlighted seven blueprints towards revamping athletics in the region.

“Key recommendations from the conference include the formation of the Southwest Athletics Group that would be governed by a board comprising all the chairmen of the states association, with each chair taking annual turns leading the board.

“To enhance sports development, the conference called for the creation of a trust fund dedicated to supporting athletic programmes and initiatives in the
region.”

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Paris 2024: Falcons hold first training session

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Ahead of their participation in the women’s football event of the 2024 Paris Olympics Games, the Super Falcons held their first training session in their Seville camp on Sunday.

The Games will be held from July 26 to August 11 and Nigeria are returning to the women’s football event since they last featured in 2008.

The Super Falcons camp opened in Spanish City on Friday but didn’t hold any training sessions until Sunday due to the small number of players in camp.

Following reports that most of the players are yet to hit camp, perhaps the numbers are just swelling, as the video released by the Super Falcons Show on X showed a few players and officials strolling into the training ground.

In the video were captain Rasheedat Ajibade, goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, Deborah Abiodun, Toni Payne and Rivers Angels keeper Morufat Ademola. Some other officials were spotted in the background.

Other players reported to be in camp are goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, Gift Monday, Chidinma Okeke, and Christy Ucheibe.

The team is expected to depart Spain for France on July 18 after their two-week training in Seville.

Super Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum last Wednesday named 18 players and four others as alternates for the women’s football event.

Changes are however expected to the squad in the coming days following an injury to midfielder Halimatu Ayinde.

Nine-time African champions Nigeria will tackle Brazil, Spain and Japan, in that order, at this year’s tournament.

Their first game, against Brazil, comes up at the Stade Bordeaux on July 25, before confrontations with Spain (July 28) and Japan (July 31).

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