Lalong Lauds Commitment Of CAS To National Security


The Executive Governor of Plateau State, Right Honourable Simon Bako Lalong, has commended the visionary leadership of the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as well as his outstanding diligence in the discharge of duties, which he said would surely transform the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to become the best Air Force in Africa.

“We are witnesses to the great attention the CAS has paid to the welfare and training of personnel of the NAF throughout the country. He has also ensured the acquisition of air platforms and other equipment necessary for the operations of the Force”, he said.

The Governor gave this commendation today, 9 September 2020, while commissioning some infrastructure projects for NAF personnel at the 205 Combat Search and Rescue Group (205 CSARG) and the newly established Air Provost Training Centre (APTC), at NAF Base Kerang, Mangu Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

The commissioned projects include 2 blocks of 10 x single bedroom furnished residential accommodation for airmen instructors and students of the APTC as well as an Officers’ Mess for officers of the 2 Units.

The Governor, who was also in Kerang in 2017 during the groundbreaking ceremony/commissioning of the 205 CSARG Headquarters Building, noted that the establishment of the Special Operations Command (SOC) and subsequent siting of the Group in Kerang were glowing evidences of the resolve, commitment, and determination of the Federal Government to ensure that law-abiding citizens are secured and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians guaranteed.

He noted that the remarkable transformation that had taken place were also hallmarks of the CAS’ dynamic leadership. While highlighting that his Administration, with the cooperation of the Plateau citizens and support of the Federal Government and security agencies, had ensured the return of peace, he noted that there was a need for vigilance against merchants of crises who are always scheming to take the State to the dark days.

He, therefore, called on the good people of Plateau State and especially the Kerang Community, who generously acceded to the approval of this expanse of land for the Unit, to continue to maintain peaceful and harmonious coexistence in the interest of national security.

Governor Lalong further observed that prior to the establishment of 205 CSARG, the Plateau State Government already had a cordial working relationship with the NAF which, he said, played a significant role in tackling insecurity, promoting education, and delivering quality healthcare services to Plateau citizens.

He added that the establishment of the Group had widened the NAF’s participation in the consolidation of peace and security of the State, particularly in the rural areas.

He stated further that, as Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, he was aware of the deployments of NAF air assets and personnel not only to Plateau State and other parts of the North but to other parts of the Country where such challenges exist.

“On behalf of my colleagues, I register our appreciation to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, and the CAS for responding to our pleas promptly”, he added.

While urging personnel of the Service to continue to foster the high standards of good civil-military relations with host communities for which the NAF is known, the Governor reassured the CAS of his Administration’s commitment towards supporting the Service at all times.

In his remarks at the occasion, Air Marshal Abubakar, while lauding Governor Lalong’s continued demonstration of strong commitment to the security of the people of Plateau State, noted that the reason for establishing the 205 CSARG was primarily to further bring security closer to the people of the State.

He noted that this was in keeping with his Vision upon assumption of office in 2015 which was “To reposition the NAF into a highly professional and disciplined force through capacity building initiatives for effective, efficient and timely employment of airpower in response to Nigeria’s national security imperatives”.

He further disclosed that, after assessing the structure of the Service, at the time it was observed that it was inadequate to properly actualize the Vision.

The CAS noted that deliberate steps were therefore taken to expand the organizational structure of the Service with the creation of 2 new Field Commands, the Special Operations Command (SOC) headquartered in Bauchi and the Ground Training Command (GTC) in Enugu, as well as several specialized Units, including those at Owerri in Imo State; Gusau in Zamfara State; Lafia in Nasarawa State; Agatu in Benue State, Gembu in Taraba State and Bauchi in Bauchi State.

Others, he said, included the NAF Detachment in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State; a Forward Operating Base in Damaturu, Yobe State; Quick Response Wing in Lafia, Nasarawa State as well as the newly established 203 Combat Reconnaissance Group in Gombe, Gombe State, and the 205 CSARG Kerang. The CAS noted that the upgraded structure has positioned the Service to more effectively ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians, working in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies.

Speaking further, the CAS stated that the NAF’s ability to realize the Vision had also been boosted by the immense support of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, which had enabled the Service to procure 22 brand new aircraft in the past 5 years, which were already deployed for operations in different parts of the Country. He equally disclosed that the NAF was also expecting 17 additional aircraft to be delivered before the end of the Year 2021.

The CAS noted that in order to effectively man these aircraft the Service had winged 114 new pilots since 2015, while another 103 student pilots were undergoing various levels of training to become qualified NAF pilots.

He further noted that the Service had trained over 2,000 new engineers and technicians with another 500 expected to graduate from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) by next week.

The CAS also noted that the Service had trained over 4,000 Regiment and Special Forces personnel to ensure the protection of its bases and air assets.

Air Marshal Abubakar emphasized that the overall objective was to ensure that the Service builds a robust capacity to ensure a secured, united, and prosperous Nigeria.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) SOC, Air Vice Marshal Charles Ohwo, noted that since the establishment of 205 CSARG in 2017, the NAF had continued to build capacity to ensure that the NAF has the capability for effective, efficient and timely CSAR missions.

He disclosed that after the first few personnel were trained abroad, the training of subsequent sets of CSAR was conducted locally at Kaduna and Ipetu-Ijesha, due to the high cost of foreign training.

These personnel, who he said, were capable of tracking, searching, locating, and rescuing occupants of downed combat aircraft or personnel in distress, were currently deployed to various Theatres of Operation across the Country.

The AOC added that for the Unit to effectively undertake its roles of medical and casualty evacuation, it needs to be strengthened and equipped with platforms, equipment, and highly-trained professionals. According to him, the CAS, being mindful of this, had authorized the execution of several projects, which he said, were at various stages of completion.

These, he said, included a standard 22-bed Medical Centre, which would not only cater to NAF personnel but also members of the host community and others who may be referred to the facility.

Also present at the event were the Plateau State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonny Theoden, and other top Government functionaries of the State, Traditional Rulers form Mangu LGA as well as the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, Branch Chiefs from the NAF Headquarters, AOC Ground Training Command and other senior military officers.



CAS Reveals Man City Ignored UEFA Investigation But Did Not Breach FFP

File photo: Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 19, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP




Manchester City showed a “blatant disregard” for UEFA’s investigation into alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but European football’s governing body failed to prove City had disguised funding from the club’s owners as sponsorship income.

Earlier this month, CAS overturned a two-year ban from European competitions imposed on City by UEFA and reduced a fine of 30 million euros (£27 million, $35 million) to 10 million euros.

The full reasoned judgement by CAS released on Tuesday showed that the fine was to reflect “a severe breach” in City’s unwillingness to cooperate with UEFA’s investigation.

But that the charges of alleged concealment of equity funding were more significant violations and that “based on the evidence the panel cannot reach the conclusion that disguised funding was paid to City.”

City’s fortunes on the field have been transformed since a takeover from Shiekh Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, in 2008.

The club were accused of deliberately inflating the value of income from Emirati sponsors Etisalat and Etihad Airways to meet UEFA’s FFP regulations, which limits the losses clubs can make to spend on player transfer fees and wages.

UEFA launched an investigation after German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of leaked emails relating to City’s finances in 2018.

CAS indicated that witness statements from senior City executives as well as a letter from Sheikh Mansour – all provided to CAS but not to UEFA during the first process – could have swung the original verdict in City’s favour.

“The appealed decision is therefore not per se wrong but, at least to a certain extent, is a consequence of MCFC’s decision to produce the most relevant evidence at its disposal only in the present appeal proceedings before CAS,” said the court.

The judgement also found that UEFA’s case was hamstrung by the necessity to finalise the appeal before the start of the 2020/2021 Champions League as it relinquished a request for more evidence to be provided from City’s emails.

“UEFA’s approach in this regard is understood, because it was faced with a dilemma between trying to obtain additional evidence and having an award issued before the start of the 2020/2021 UEFA club competitions season,” added the CAS panel.

Nine Premier League clubs — Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool, Man United, Newcastle, Tottenham and Wolves — filed an application to UEFA for City not to be allowed to compete in European competition if a verdict was not reached before the start of the 2020/21 season.


Manchester City To Learn UEFA Appeal Fate On Monday

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) is caught by Newcastle United's English defender Danny Rose (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on July 8, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP)
Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) is caught by Newcastle United’s English defender Danny Rose (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on July 8, 2020. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP)


Manchester City will discover the result of their appeal against a two-year ban from UEFA competitions on Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced Friday.

City were banned by UEFA and handed a 30 million euro ($34 million, £27 million) fine for allegedly overstating sponsorship revenue to hide that they had not complied with financial fair-play (FFP) rules between 2012 and 2016.

The English side steadfastly refuted the allegations and a three-day hearing on the case was held by videoconference last month.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will announce the decision taken in the arbitration procedure between Manchester City Football Club and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Monday, 13 July 2020,” CAS said in a statement.

CAS added that the decision would be announced at 10:30 am local time (0830 GMT).

City hold an 11-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United in the Premier League and need just one win from their remaining four games of the season to be sure of Champions League qualification.

But, if their ban is upheld or only reduced to one season, whoever finishes fifth will take their Champions League spot.

No matter the outcome of the appeal, City will be able to complete their 2019/20 Champions League campaign.

They hold a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid after the first leg of the last 16 and host the Spanish giants on August 7 in the return match.

The tournament will be concluded with a ‘Final 8’ event in Lisbon, with City to face either Juventus or Lyon in the quarter-finals if they get past Real.


NAF’s Locally Produced Ventilators Ready For Use – CAS Abubakar


The Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar on Monday announced that ventilators locally produced by the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) are now ready for use and will soon be unveiled.

The ventilators will be used in the treatment of COVID-19 and other respiratory-related diseases.

Abubakar, said the ventilators were jointly fabricated by NAF engineers and experts from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

He made this announcement while hosting a Sallah luncheon for frontline troops of the NAF at the headquarters of Air Task Force Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

“While sustaining the fight against the seen enemy, NAF personnel must also maintain vigilance and ensure strict adherence to the guidelines and protocols to overcome COVID-19, which is the invisible enemy of humanity,” he said.

The CAS adds that the NAF in support of COVID-19 fight had also distributed reusable face masks to all personnel and provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and ventilators to the NAF Hospital in Maiduguri,

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum who was also at the event appreciated the contributions and sacrifices of NAF in securing the territorial integrity of the country.

He notes that the tremendous efforts of the NAF in general, and the Air Task Force (ATF) in particular, in the fight against insurgency had degraded the abilities of the insurgents and gradually facilitated a return to normalcy for the people of Borno State.



Man City Appeal UEFA Ban


Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola reacts during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP


Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year European ban has been officially registered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS announced on Wednesday.

The Premier League club have vowed to fight the sanction imposed by UEFA on February 14 for breaching financial fair play regulations.

Although CAS did not indicate a time-frame for the appeal process, it is expected to take several months.

In a statement, CAS said: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City football club against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).”

City face losing hundreds of millions of pounds in prize money, TV revenue, gate receipts and sponsorship income should their appeal against the ban fail.

Last week City Football Group CEO Ferran Soriano said the club hoped to have their appeal heard by CAS before the start of next season’s Champions League.

He said UEFA’s charges against the club of overstating their sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016 and failing to cooperate with an investigation were “simply not true.”


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.