Guardiola To ‘Remain’ As Man City Manager Despite Ban

FILES) In this file photo taken on April 17, 2019 Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts during the UEFA Champions League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England. AFP


Pep Guardiola has told friends he is going to remain as manager of Manchester City even if the appeal against their two-year European football ban is rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), according to media reports on Monday.

The 49-year-old Spaniard is said by The Times to have told both the City board and the players he will be staying despite the sanction and reported interest from Serie A champions Juventus.

Guardiola, who has been at City for four years, reportedly told the players of his intention at a meeting on Saturday.

“Look, whatever league we are in, I will still be here,” Guardiola told them according to Sky Sports News.

“Even if they put us in League Two, I will still be here. This is a time for sticking together.”

He is likely to confirm this at the press conference on Wednesday following the re-arranged Premier League match with West Ham.

The match on February 9 was postponed due to Storm Ciara.

The Sun claims the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has told friends he is going to at least see out his contract with the club which runs until 2021.

He is old friends with City executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain and enjoys an amicable relationship with club chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak.

“He is not the kind of person whose first thought is to leave when things turn bad,” sources close to Guardiola told The Daily Telegraph.

According to those sources Guardiola — who was informed of the UEFA ruling prior to its official announcement when he returned from a break in Barcelona on Friday — is “calm” about the ban.

Guardiola has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and twice lifted the League Cup since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.

  ‘Their own decisions’ 

As for the players, the Daily Mail says they will stay too, although the Telegraph state the opposite should the club lose the appeal.

England striker Raheem Sterling has been the subject of rumours surrounding a likely bid by Real Madrid — who City face in the Champions League last 16 later this month.

However, agent Aidy Ward, who has represented Sterling since he was at school, told the Daily Mail his client was focused on City and not any transfer speculation.

“Raheem is solely focused on Manchester City and will not be distracted by any talk of transfers at the moment,” said Ward.

The club, though, according to the Telegraph, will leave it up to the individuals once the decision on the appeal is delivered, which they believe will be in May.

“Everyone has been told they need to stay professional but also there is an understanding that they have their own decisions to make,” said the source.

City, though, remain confident they will emerge victoriously.

“Trust me as I trust you, this will be dropped,” Soriano is said by Sky to have told the players.

The players are said by a source close to them to be content with the account they have been given by City executives.

“Since this all started, they’ve all been told that City have done nothing wrong,” the source told Sky.

“That’s still the message, so nothing’s changed.”

UEFA announced the sanction on Friday, with European football’s governing body punishing City for what it said were “serious” financial fair-play breaches between 2012 and 2016.

City were also fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million).

The heavy sanctions relate to an alleged overstatement of sponsorship revenue in the club’s efforts to comply with financial fair-play rules.


Cardiff Appeal Over Sala Payment Set To Go Before CAS

File photo of Emiliano Sala/AFP


Cardiff City’s appeal against paying the first instalment of six million euros (6.7 million) to Nantes for Emiliano Sala is expected to be heard next spring.

The appeal will go before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne although a final decision is not expected expected before June 2020, the tribunal said in a statement Thursday.

The Argentine, 28, died when the light aircraft he was travelling in from France to Britain crashed into the English Channel in January.

Cardiff and Nantes were unable to reach an amicable conclusion on the financial aspects of the move, so the case came before the Players’ Status Committee of FIFA.

The world governing body announced on September 30 that Cardiff must pay an initial six million euros to the French club.


Russian Athletes Appeal To CAS Against IOC Doping Bans

Twenty-two Russian athletes banned for life by the International Olympic Committee for doping offenses at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are appealing against their ban, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Wednesday.

Their appeal comes a day after the IOC banned Russia from next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, allowing only invited clean athletes to participate as neutrals.

The court in Lausanne said the athletes had asked CAS to rule before the start of the Feb. 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea.

Among those appealing are gold medalist bobsledders Aleksandr Zubkov and Dmitry Trunenkov, cross-country gold medalist Alexander Legkov and champion skeleton racer Aleksander Tretiakov.

The IOC found the athletes violated anti-doping rules as part of a wider, systematic doping effort by Russia at the Sochi Games. It barred them from the events they had competed in, confiscated all medals they had won and banned them from taking part in any future Olympic games.

Lifetime Olympic bans have been overturned at CAS in the past, with the court ruling that athletes who had been suspended for doping could not be punished again by being left out of the Olympics.

The 22 Russians are set to miss February’s Games whatever happens because doping violations carry bans of two to four years for first-time offenders.

The athletes were also banned from taking part in any future Olympic games. Lausanne-based CAS said the athletes had requested a final decision be made before the start of next year’s winter games in South Korea.

The IOC on Tuesday banned Russia from the event, citing evidence of a widespread doping regime.

A list of the athletes concerned was given by CAS:

Aleksandr Zubkov, Dmitry Trunenkov, Aleksei Negodailo, Alexander Kasyanov, Aleksei Pushkarev, Ilvir Khuzin, Olga Stulneva (all bobsleigh).

Aleksandrer Tretiakov, Sergei Chudinov, Elena Nikitina, Olga Potylitsyna, Maria Orlova (all skeleton).

Olga Vilukhina and Yana Romanova (biathlon).

Alexander Legkov, Evgeniy Belov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, Alexey Petukhov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova (cross-country skiing).

Olga Fatkulina, Alexander Rumyantsev (speed skating).


Leicester Decide Against CAS Appeal In Silva Saga

Adrien Silva. Photo: Twitter account @adrien_silva23

The long-running saga over Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva’s move to Leicester City took another twist on Tuesday with the English club deciding not to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Leicester have been battling to get the 28-year-old Euro 2016 winner’s £22 million ($29 million) deadline-day move from Sporting Lisbon registered after it was submitted just 14 seconds late, but had their appeal rejected by FIFA earlier this month.

On Tuesday they blamed world football’s governing body for their decision not to pursue the case with CAS which effectively means Silva will have to wait until January to play for them.

“It was our intention to submit an application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for expedited proceedings so that the matter could be resolved as quickly as possible,” a Leicester spokesman said.

“However, it has been made clear to us that FIFA will not support an expedited process, forcing the Club to reluctantly accept the single-judge ruling of FIFA’s Players’ Status Committee without reasonable opportunity for independent arbitration that is timely enough to be effective.”

The club added they would support France-born Silva — who remains with them and is training with the squad — if he decided to go alone to CAS.

“We intend to register Adrien at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, he will remain under our care, training with the squad under the supervision of our coaching, medical and sports science staff,” the spokesman added.


Sports Court Upholds Former Fifa President Sepp Blatter Six-Year Ban

FifaFormer Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s six-year ban from football has been upheld after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

The 80-year-old Swiss was banned over ethics breaches as his 17 years as head of football’s world governing body ended in a corruption scandal in 2015.

He was found to have made a £1.3m “disloyal payment” to ex-Uefa boss Michel Platini. Both deny wrongdoing.
BBC reports that Cas described the payment as “an undue gift” with “no contractual basis”.

Blatter said “no other verdict could be expected”.

He added: “I have to accept this decision. I have experienced much in my 41 years in Fifa. I mostly learned that you can win in sport, but you can also lose”.

In its written verdict, Cas said Blatter “requested the annulment of the ban but did not request a reduced penalty”.

It added: “In any event, the panel determined that the sanction imposed was not disproportionate”.

Fifa suspended Blatter and former France international Platini for eight years in December, but the bans were reduced to six years by its appeals committee.

NFF Secretariat Not Sealed By Police

nffThe Leadership tussle between the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the proprietor of Giwa Football Club of Jos, Mr Chris Giwa has not led to the sealing of the secretariat of the federation.

A visit by Channels Television crew to the Nigeria Football Federation headquarters in Abuja revealed that staffers of the federation were going about their normal duties.

General‎ Secretary of the federation, however, confirmed that men of the Police have been around the premises to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order.

There had been reports in some section of the media that Policemen had chased out the workers, locked the secretariat and barred people from the building.

The NFF has been in the spotlight since a Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State nullified the election that brought NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and his board into office.

The Giwa-led group had gone to court and withdrawn the case in October 2014, but then later went to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, which threw out their case.

Meanwhile, the Federation has also filed an appeal, a motion to vacate the order and a motion for a stay-of-execution against the judgement of the Jos High Court.

They insist there is no order for the Giwa group to take over the Glass House.


Jos Court Sacks Pinnick, Board, NFF To Appeal Judgement

PinnickThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has filed an appeal, a motion to vacate the order and a motion for a stay-of-execution against the judgement of the Jos High Court, which on Friday decided to re-list a case brought by Chris Giwa against the elected NFF administration led by Amaju Pinnick.

In re-listing the case for hearing on May 30 2016, the court also restored the order that the election and Congress of September 30, 2014 be nullified.

However, since an appeal, a motion to vacate the order and a stay-of-execution has been filed, on the same day as the judgement, the status quo remains.

NFF 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, described the judgement as a setback for Nigerian football.

“This is a sad one primarily because we have enjoyed a period of peace and have been able to work without the court-today-court-tomorrow situation of the last half of 2014.

“We have filed for stay-of-execution and that means the status quo remains and anything done is done at the actors’ peril.

“I can assure football-loving Nigerians that there is no reason to panic, as we are in full charge and there is no trouble whatsoever.

“There is no order for the Giwa group to take over the Glass House. In fact many of his so-called board members have called to dissociate themselves from the matter,” Akinwunmi stated.

The Giwa-led group had gone to court and withdrawn the case in October 2014, but then later went to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, which threw out their case.

A Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State, had earlier nullified the election that brought NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and his board into office.

Justice Musa Haruna Kurya delivered the ruling on Friday over the re-listed suit challenging the election process of September 30, 2014 in Warri, Delta State.

Jos Court Nullifies Pinnick’s Election

PinnickA Federal High Court in Jos, Plateau State, has nullified the election that brought NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and his board into office.

Justice Musa Haruna Kurya delivered the ruling on Friday over the re-listed suit challenging the election process of September 30, 2014 in Warri.

Before the elections in Warri, Christopher Giwa, in controversial circumstance had been declared new President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) through another congress in Abuja.

In 2015, Justice Ambrose Allagoa, who presided over the hearing, had ruled that the election as well as the congress preceding it were against his orders and ordered the plaintiff Christopher Giwa to return to office.

But FIFA was watching and warned Nigeria will be banned if the court ruling stops the newly-elected executive committee of Amaju Pinnick from working.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, had called parties to a peace meeting where he pleaded for the crisis to end and prevent Nigeria from an imminent FIFA ban.

When Plaintiff counsel, Habila Ardzard, was to withdraw the matter, he told the court then, “The number one citizen had demanded to intervene in the matter and that if parties are not satisfied, they can return to court.”

When Channels Television spoke to Christopher Giwa, he praised the ruling of the court.

“This is victory for Nigeria football. The right ruling has been made and we are taking over immediately.”

Amaju Pinnick confirmed the ruling of the court, adding that it is a setback for Nigerian football.

“It is sad we are still taking football matters to court. The NFF will file for stay of execution and later appeal the case.”

In the latest FIFA ranking, the Super Eagles dropped five points and now ranks 67th in the world and 14th in Africa. The team also failed to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

90-Day Suspension: Platini Loses CAS Appeal

PlatiniSuspended UEFA President, Michel Platini’s attempt to have his 90-day ban from FIFA overturned has been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Frenchman, who was suspended by world football’s governing body in October over an alleged “disloyal payment”, had hoped to take his place as a candidate for February’s FIFA presidential election.

Blatter and Platini were handed 90-day suspensions after the Swiss Attorney General opened criminal proceedings against Blatter over a £1.35 million payment to Platini.

The payment was made in February 2011 for work the Frenchman carried out as Blatter’s Technical Advisor between 1999 and 2002.

Platini was the clear favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter until they were questioned by Swiss authorities on September 25.

Both face possible life bans when they appear before the FIFA Ethics Committee at the governing body’s headquarters in Zurich next week.

Blatter, Platini Appeal FIFA Bans

blatter,-platiniSepp Blatter and Michel Platini have lodged appeals against their provisional 90-day bans imposed by FIFA’s ethics committee.

The 79-year-old Blatter was suspended from his duties as FIFA President on Thursday and has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation into his conduct as “outrageous”.

Blatter and Platini, who was UEFA President, have taken advantage of the two-day window to make a formal challenge after notification, but they will remain suspended at least until the appeal is held.

Blatter and Platini were handed 90-day suspensions after the Swiss Attorney General opened criminal proceedings against Blatter over a £1.35 million payment to Platini.

The payment was made in February 2011 for work the Frenchman carried out as Blatter’s Technical Advisor between 1999 and 2002.

In a related development, a FIFA Presidential contender, Chung Mong-joon, has said that he would sue the world football body’s ethics committee for defamation over a six-year ban and make a formal appeal to the International Sport Tribunal.

The South Korean Tycoon said in a statement that he would take action against FIFA’s independent ethics committee “for damaging my reputation” in its handling of his case.

The billionaire revealed he would mobilise “all legal means available,” including a formal request next week to the Lausanne based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Barcelona Not Allowed To Sign Any Players In 2015

_69851648_messi_getty1Barcelona will not be allowed to sign any players in 2015 after their appeal against a transfer ban was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said that  its appeals panel found no grounds to overturn a FIFA sanction preventing Barcelona from registering any new players for the period of two transfer windows.

The Spanish club was handed a 14-month ban in April after being found guilty of breaching FIFA’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18.

FIFA rejected an appeal in August but the pending appeal to CAS allowed Barca to sign players including Luis Suarez.

A Barcelona statement added: “The errors that the club might have committed, and which have been recognised and argued before the corresponding authorities, are, in all cases, of an administrative nature and to a large extent have been caused by the existing conflict between the FIFA regulations and Spanish legislation, along with the club’s conviction that it was acting correctly.

“Therefore, FC Barcelona considers the sanction to be completely disproportionate as it supposes an excessive punishment for the club, when considering its trajectory and the circumstances of this specific case.”

Barcelona must also pay a fine of 300,000 pounds while the verdict has been published by CAS without written reasons, due to the need to reach a decision before the start of the January transfer window.

Barcelona went on a summer spending spree this year while the suspension went on hold during the appeals process, splashing out more than 150m euros (£117.5m) on Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen, Claudio Bravo, Jeremy Mathieu and Alen Halilovic.

NFF Crisis: Odegbami Says NFF Statutes Are Faulty Having Been Altered

NFFEx Super Eagles star player, Segun Odegbami, believes that the crisis in the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, was caused by the irregularities in the laws governing the game in Nigeria.

Speaking during a conversation on Channels Television on Thursday, Odegbami said that the structures were not well oiled, as the statutes of the NFF were faulty, having been altered in the past to favour certain agenda.

He believes that this has been the reason why Nigeria in recent times has continued to be in conflict with the world football governing body, FIFA, who is also supposed not to interfere in the matters, being a third party themselves.

He explained that the elections into the board of member organisations are supposed to be the internal businesses of those member bodies and FIFA should recognize the peculiarity of each country.

On the view that FIFA’s interference was because the NFF matter was taken to a regular court, against the recommendation that they be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Odegbami referred to a number of cases in the past when FIFA had recognised directives given by Nigerian courts.

He insisted that as long as the NFF is part of Nigeria, they should be subject to the laws of the country and this, he said, FIFA needs to understand.

On the recommendation of FIFA that all football matters should be taken to CAS, Odegbami said that this was not a valid recommendation as long as there were still cases of people going to CAS and failing to get justice.

He mentioned a number of cases from Nigeria which were still pending at the Court of Arbitration for Sports without much progress because of the unnecessary delays usually experienced there.

Sharing his experience, he disclosed that he spent about $36,000 fighting for his mandate to lead the NFF without any result at the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

He, however, admitted that Nigeria was in a more complicated situation as it was torn between the need to avoid FIFA’s ban and the directive of a court, which must be respected by any country that believes in the rule of law.

The brighter side, according to Odegbami was that the crisis has presented an opportunity for Nigeria to right all the wrongs of the past, as there were many disgruntled groups in the football.

He advised all stakeholders to go back and restructure the statutes governing football in Nigeria and correct all the anomalies in it, adding that this should start with holding congresses across all the states of the federation.

He also recalled that there was a court order against the football body’s change of name from Nigerian Football Association to Nigerian Football Federation.

Describing it as one of the impunity of the past, he wondered how the Nigerian Government came about funding the NFF when a Nigerian court had directed that the organisation should stop parading itself as the NFF.

Odegbami said that he was not willing to pay attention to the current problem but would be focusing more on the opportunity it presents all concerned to do the right thing and ensure that Nigeria does not find itself in the same crisis in another four years.

He commended the embattled NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, for having already recognized the need to go back to the books for solution to the crisis.