FIFA Open To Salary Cap And Transfer Fee Limit Proposals

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino

 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Saturday called for discussions over proposals to introduce salary and transfer fee caps to football in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

World football’s governing body intends to finalise plans in the coming weeks for a financial relief package following the economic damage caused to the sport by the global health crisis.

FIFA announced in April it would release $150 million (133 million euros) to its 211 member associations “as the first step of a relief plan”. UEFA shortly afterwards said it had allocated 236.5 million euros to its 55 member federations.

Last month, the German FA and Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge urged industry talks about a salary cap and reforming the transfer system to keep football “credible”.

“On the financial and governance aspects, I also heard some interesting proposals on a wide range of topics,” Infantino wrote in an open letter to FIFA’s members.

“From salary caps to transfer fee caps or other taxation mechanisms, to the possible obligation for governing bodies, competition organisers and clubs to build reserves or to contribute to a reserve fund which can be of assistance in hours of need such as now.

“I personally advocate for clearer and stricter financial regulations, imposing full transparency and good governance principles, and not only limiting this to the transfer system, but to the entire football ecosystem.

“FIFA is doing already a lot of work on this area, even if we face some strong vested interests who fight against our plea for better global governance in our sport.”

A recent study by accounting firm KPMG said the transfer value of players in 10 of Europe’s top leagues could plummet by up to 10 billion euros due to the economic crash caused by a coronavirus.

‘Balanced’ international calendar 

The French league declared over in late April, said it would have to take out a government-guaranteed loan of some 225 million euros to tide over clubs impacted by the loss in income from broadcasters.

Last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham have received a £175 million loan from the Bank of England to help them through the crisis as the club predicted losses of £200 million over the next year.

Infantino is hoping to push through the rescue package by the time of the next FIFA Council meeting later this month.

“The need for top club football to resume has understandably taken priority, but we must also consider national teams, women’s football, lower-tier domestic leagues, youth and the grassroots game,” Infantino said.

“We have to show unity across all aspects of football and make sure football can resume in its globality. This is our priority and our financial relief plan will also follow this principle.”

While domestic leagues are gradually restarting, the international calendar has been decimated with Euro 2020 and the Copa America both postponed until next year.

However, Infantino said a reworked international schedule could be published shortly.

“On another very important topic, namely the international match calendar, I am happy to report that we also made some good progress,” he said.

“In consultation with different stakeholders, we are closer to present a balanced solution that takes into account everyone’s challenges and needs.”

AFP

COVID-19: Akwa Ibom Sets Up Committees To Monitor Reopening Of Churches

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

 

Akwa Ibom State Government has set up a committee to monitor the reopening of churches in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes as the state government lifted the ban on religious gathering, thus making churches to resume services on June 7.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem made this known in a statement issued on Saturday.

According to him, a total of four monitoring committees have been set up to monitor the three senatorial districts of the state and Uyo the capital city.

Members of the committee comprise the representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the local government councils, and the Nigeria Police.

They are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that churches comply with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on the prevention and control of the pandemic.

The SSG, however, warned residents that the ban on social gatherings such as burials and weddings are still in force, stressing that all schools are to remain closed till further notice.

While appreciating the private sector for supporting the government’s efforts in curbing the spread of the virus in the state, Ekuwem lamented that the Federal Government had yet to support the state financially.

Akwa Ibom has so far recorded a total of 45 cases with 14 patients being discharged, two deaths recorded and 29 active cases.

Ogun Relaxes Lockdown Measures, To Allow Religious Activities From June 19

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, briefing journalists about the recent development of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state where 28 persons have been identified and quarantined.

 

The Ogun state government on Friday said it was adopting the federal government’s decision to relax curfew periods amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Curfew period in the state now falls between 10 pm and 4 am, as recommended by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

In a briefing on Friday, Governor Dapo Abiodun however said all other restrictions, guidelines, and measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state will remain in place.

The Governor also said engagement with religious leaders was still ongoing over how public religious activities can resume in the state.

 

Abiodun said his government will unveil guidelines on Friday to enable religious activities to restart on June 19.

“I indicated in my briefing last week that our Administration would engage religious leaders towards working out modalities on gradually lifting restrictions on religious activities,” Abiodun said.

“This was in accordance with the minimum recommendations of the COVID-19 PTF, subject to peculiarities of affected states. We therefore met with leading religious bodies, as we have always been inclusive, and we arrived at the following conclusions:

“(A) Subject to the review of the Sub-Committee (which includes some of the religious leaders earlier engaged) we set up, I will be unveiling on Friday, 12th June, 2020 some guidelines to enable the gradual opening of religious activities on Friday, 19th June.

 

“(B) A Joint Task Force (including religious leaders, government & security agencies) will be set up to monitor compliance with agreed guidelines, which would be regularly reviewed according to developments.

“(C) The afore-disclosed are despite the remarkable efforts of our Administration, as acknowledged by the religious leaders, who clearly understood the reality of the pandemic which is still very much with us.”

As of Friday evening, Ogun had recorded 329 cases of the novel coronavirus. While it has discharged 186 patients, 133 cases are still activities and 10 people have died.

Enugu Records Three New COVID-19 Cases With Travel History From Lagos, Rivers

A map of Enugu state in the south-east.
A map of Enugu state in the south-east.

 

The Enugu state government has confirmed three new cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.

In a statement on Saturday, the state’s Ministry of Health said all three cases have a travel history, two from Lagos state and one from Rivers.

The new cases bring the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Enugu to 30, with 16 discharged and one death.

“Two of the new cases are male patients admitted for other severe underlying conditions,” the statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Health. Dr. Obi Emmanuel Ikechukwu, said.

They were being treated at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu when, on a high index of suspicion, were transferred to the hospital’s holding area while the State’s rapid response team was contacted for sample collection.

The other case is also a male patient who developed symptoms and contacted the COVID-19 emergency number.

He was assessed and subsequently invited for sample collection.

“Two of these cases hail from Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State and the other from Enugu North LGA,” the statement said.

“Two of them came into Enugu State from Lagos while the other person came in from Rivers State.”

Kenyan Police Have Killed 15 People Since Start Of COVID-19 Curfew

Kenya Redcross paramedics wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) prepare to assist a COVID-19 coronavirus patient that is inside the ambulance before taking him to the hospital, in Nairobi June on 3, 2020. Simon MAINA / AFP
Kenya Redcross paramedics wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) prepare to assist a COVID-19 coronavirus patient that is inside the ambulance before taking him to the hospital, in Nairobi June on 3, 2020. Simon MAINA / AFP

 

Kenyan police have been involved in the killing of 15 people since the country put a nighttime curfew in place in March to combat the coronavirus, the policing oversight body said in a statement seen by AFP Friday.

The Independent Policing Oversight Body (IPOA) said it had received 87 complaints against police since the dusk to dawn curfew and heightened security measures were imposed on March 27.

“After preliminary investigations, 15 deaths and 31 incidents where victims sustained injuries have directly been linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement,” it said.

According to the statement, the complaints include deaths, shootings, harassment, assaults, robbery, inhumane treatment and sexual assault.

The IPOA statement was released earlier this week as the United States was gripped by anger over racism and police brutality that has prompted protests in the country and around the world.

The killing of George Floyd has not led to major protests in Kenya, with a solidarity march on Tuesday drawing only around 20 people.

However activists on social media have drawn parallels with Kenya’s scourge of police brutality, which often goes unpunished.

Kenya’s police force is often accused by rights groups of using excessive force and carrying out unlawful killings, especially in poor neighbourhoods.

In April Human Right Watch accused the police of imposing the coronavirus curfew in a “chaotic and violent manner from the start”, sometimes whipping, kicking and teargassing people to force them off the streets.

It described the case of 13-year-old 13-year-old Yassin Hussein Moyo who died in the capital Nairobi on March 31 after being shot while standing on his balcony as police forced people into their homes on the street below.

In others, a tomato seller died in western Kakamega after being hit by a teargas canister, while four men were beaten to death in different parts of the country.

In January, HRW said at least eight young men had been shot in three low-income neighbourhoods since Christmas, and a 2019 report detailed the killings of 21 young men and boys by police “apparently with no justification”.

“Although many killings by the police have been well documented by both state institutions and rights organisations, the security officers have rarely been held to account, including by the police oversight authority,” said HRW.

Interior Minister Fred Matiangi on Friday criticised police excesses, but “took exception to painting the entire service with the same brush”, his office said in a statement.

“We have challenges in our law enforcement, and we must all rise and start dealing with them collectively instead of creating a stigma around the police,” Matiangi said.

According to the statement, the country’s chief prosecutor Noordin Haji has formed a specialised unit to speedily handle cases of police violence, and is currently working on 171 cases of such brutality, 81 of which are in court.

On Thursday the IPOA announced six police officers would be arrested and prosecuted, one for the killing of Moyo, another for shooting dead a secondary school teacher while responding to a burglary at a market in western Siaya, and four others for seriously assaulting a man during an arrest.

Nigeria Records 328 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 11,844

 

Nigeria has recorded 328 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 11, 844.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), announced this on Friday.

According to the agency’s report, 121 of the new cases were recorded in Lagos, 70 in the FCT, and 25 in Bauchi.

Other affected states were Rivers with 18 cases, Oyo with 16, 15 in Kaduna, 14 in Gombe, 13 in Edo and Ogun, eight in Jigawa, six in Enugu, five in Kano and two each in Ondo and Osun states.

 

However, the NCDC also noted that a total of 3,696 patients have now recovered from the virus and have subsequently been discharged from isolation centers, while 333 persons have died.

Nearly four months since Nigeria recorded its first case in the country, the figures have continued to rise with Lagos still the epicenter after a record 5,663 cases, closely followed by Kano State with 985 cases and the FCT with 862 cases.

With the latest figures, Nigeria is ranked third on the list of most infected African nations after South Africa and Egypt.

To curb further spread of the virus, the Federal Government had imposed a lockdown on the three majorly affected states at the time (Lagos, Ogun State and the FCT) in March.

Subsequently, other states began to impose varying degrees of curfews and governors eventually agreed on interstate lockdowns as they began to record new infections.

But weeks after the FG-Imposed lockdown, President Muhammadu Buhari announced again that there would be a gradual easing of the lockdown in order to allow economic activities resume as the country could not sustain an extended period of economic inactivity.

While essential workers and other levels of workers have been allowed to resume so far, the government has still appealed to those who can afford to stay at home, to do so.

Reducing interpersonal contacts and maintaining social distancing of up to 2-3meters is said to be one of the ways to curb the spread of the virus but that in itself has proven to be a difficult task for most Nigerians.

Other measures to stay safe include sneezing or coughing into your elbow, washing of hands regularly, use of alcohol-based sanitizers and wearing of face masks.

Read Also: Muslims In Abuja Gather To Pray As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

While most businesses have been allowed to resume with strict adherence to the above measures, schools, cinemas, clubs and other places of mass social gatherings remain shut.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has, however, allowed the reopening of worship centers.

While the PTF had said it does not recommend that people resume at places of worship, it noted that if they have to, they must adhere strictly to the guidelines, some of which include the mandatory use of face masks by worshippers and provision of handwashing spots at the entrances.

Also, the use of hand sanitizers with at least sixty per cent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks was advised.

The PTF also mandated that facilities be structured in a way that physical distancing can be observed and as much as possible, congregants avoid activities such a hugging, shaking or kissing.

In addition, it noted that church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve, while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.

Some Muslim faithful in Abuja could already been seen gathering for prayers on Friday as the restrictions get lifted.

President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, and other government officials were also among those who attended Juma’at prayers – their first since the lockdown was imposed.

For schools, the government had stated last week that it is not ready to take the risk of resuming just yet.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, debunked reports that schools would open on June 8, adding that there would be no resumption “until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material”.

PHOTOS: Muslims In Abuja Gather To Pray As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

Muslims gather to pray in Abuja on June 5, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Muslims on Friday gathered to pray at a mosque, as places of worship reopen following the gradual relaxation of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

This comes days after the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 released guidelines for the reopening of worship centers in the country.

 

The PTF, however, noted that it does not recommend that people should go to places of worship, but if they have to, they must adhere to the guidelines, some of which included the mandatory use of face masks by worshippers and provision of handwashing spots at the entrances.

 

 

Also, the use of hand sanitizers with at least sixty per cent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks was advised.

 


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The PTF also mandated that facilities be structured in a way that physical distancing can be observed and as much as possible, congregants avoid activities such a hugging, shaking or kissing.

It also noted that church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve, while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.

 

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, and other government officials also attended their first Juma’at prayers at the State House Mosque in Abuja on Friday since the restrictions.

 

See more photos below.

Ooni Of Ife Donates Motorised Modular Fumigators To Ebonyi

Ooni Of Ife Celebrates First Anniversary With Thanksgiving Service
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi

 

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) has donated two motorised modular fumigators to Ebonyi State Government to control the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Governor Dave Umahi made this known on Friday while receiving the Ooni’s COVID-19 Team at the Government House in Abakaliki, the state capital.

Speaking through the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Francis Nwaifuru, Governor Umahi said the equipment will be effectively used for the benefits of the people.

READ ALSO: Ganduje Directs House-To-House Sample Collection For COVID-19 Test

He also applauded the locally made fumigators, promising that it will help to curb the spread of the virus in the state.

In her remarks, Princess Kemi Fadojutimi who spoke on behalf of the delegation said that the Ooni’s gesture is to complement the efforts of the state government in fighting the scourge of COVID-19.

While noting that each state is to receive two motorised modular fumigators from the Ooni, she assured that the active agent used for the fumigation is not harmful to humans.

COVID-19: Court Convicts 16 Persons For Violating Guidelines In Edo

 

A mobile court sitting in Benin City has convicted 16 persons for violating the Edo State Dangerous Infectious Diseases Prevention Regulations put in place by the government to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The violators, who were arrested at Airport Road axis, under Oredo Magistrate District, were charged for violating the government’s order on the compulsory use of face mask to protect themselves and stop the infection of others.

The Presiding Magistrates, Mrs. Igho Braimoh and Okunrobo F. E, convicted the accused to between two to three days of community service.

The service involves clearing of grasses for between two to three hours at Evboriaria Magistrate Court Compound; High Court premises and Golf Course Road by Government House.

READ ALSO: Ooni Of Ife Donates Motorised Modular Fumigators To Ebonyi

Similarly, the violators are compelled to pay a fine of between N2000 to N5000.

According to the magistrates, the offenders violated Section 8 (6)(C) of State Dangerous Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020, which states that all or a person should wear or utilize protective device to protect the persons or to stop the infection of others in the local Area.

One of the accused, Mr. Fred Ibrahim, was discharged and acquitted, while another accused person, Mr. John Akpan, was charged for overloading his vehicle which is against the nation’s Quarantine Act.

Also, one Mr. Nosakhare Osazuwa, with Vehicle Registration Number LNA 611 BP, was charged for picking up passengers in an unauthorised bus stop while Mr. Ogeide Nosa was discharged and freed on health grounds.

Avoid Worship Centres, Govt Tells Lagos Residents Above 65 Years

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi speaks on measures taking by the state government to contain COVID-19 in the state on June 5, 2020.

 

Lagos State Government has advised residents of the state above 65 years to avoid visiting worship centres in order to curb COVID-19 in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi gave the advice during a press conference in Alausa, Ikeja, the state capital.

The Commissioner who noted that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the reopening of religious centres in the next two weeks as the state entered the second phase of the ease of lockdown, in line with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and NCDC protocols on ease of lockdown.

Abayomi reiterated the commitment of the state government to manage the public health of residents, noting that the government is deeply worried by the aged group considered as vulnerable.

“If you are over the age of 65, you should not go to these houses of worship. In fact, you should continue to exercise due diligence as to where you go and to what kind of environments you go to.

“For now, we are advising that over the age of 65, avoid these engagements. For those that do go to this engagement and go back home, what happens? Those that do go to the houses of spiritual worship, while you are there, we have cut down the number of people that can be in a room.

READ ALSO: Mosques, Churches In Lagos To Reopen From June 19 And 21 – Sanwo-Olu

“And while you are in that room, you must practice what we are standardizing as social distancing so that it reduces your chance of contracting the virus and taking the virus home to where you may have somebody in the house above the age of 65,” he said.

The Commissioner’s remarks come a day after Governor Sanwo-Olu reviewed some of the protocols being used to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu announced that the government would be relaxing the measures in the coming days, insisting that worshippers at such centres must not exceed 500 during a session.

He, however, noted that the government has allowed authorities to conduct more than one service but must maintain proper hygiene of the environment.

Bello Lifts Lockdown In Kabba-Bunu, Insists Kogi Is COVID-19 Free

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

 

The Kogi State government has lifted the lockdown imposed on Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of the state over suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Governor Yahaya Bello announced this on Friday at the Government House in Lokoja, the state capital.

He explained that the decision became necessary after the result of all the samples taken and subjected to tests by the health workers in the local government came out negative.

Following the outcome, the governor insisted that Kogi has remained a COVID-19-free state.

He, however, urged the people of the state to adhere to the protocols of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to curb the spread of the disease.

Governor Bello had ordered a 14-day total lockdown in Kabba-Bubu in a state broadcast on Monday.

He restricted the movement of residents and directed the house-to-house distribution of palliatives to residents within the local government.

The governor also directed that contact tracing should be carried out from one house to another to identify those who might have made contact with the persons said to be the COVID-19 index cases in the state – the Chief Imam of Kabba and his son.

He had also urged health workers who might have made contact with the suspected index cases to go into self-isolation.

Ganduje Directs House-To-House Sample Collection For COVID-19 Test

Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
A file photo of Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

 

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has directed the commencement of house-to-house sample collection exercise in the eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

The emergency exercise is expected to take place within the metropolitan LGAs such as Taurani, Nasarawa, and Kano municipal, where most of the confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 are concentrated.

Governor Ganduje disclosed this on Thursday at a press briefing organised by the State Task Force on COVID-19.

He said, “We are putting our emphasis within the eight metropolitan Local Government Areas. We are engaging in house-to-house sample collection.

“I think during the political campaign, some politicians engaged in a house-to-house campaign. Right now, for COVID-19, we are engaging in a house-to-house sample collection campaign.”

According to the governor, the state has always improved on its successes in the fight against COVID-19 which is a result of the commitment of the Task Force and the frontline health workers.

He noted that the people were aware of the easiest ways to contract and avoid getting infected with the disease.

“We know the three commandments of COVID-19 which are social distancing, washing and sanitising our hands and wearing our face mask. These three commandments should become our way of life. They should become part of our everyday life,” Ganduje urged the people.

He added, “Relaxation of lockdown is now from 6am to 6pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. We also decided to open our markets in order to improve business activities in the state.

“We are producing face masks in large quantities and the market leaders have promised to produce face masks and distribute them free of charge. They will also provide water and soap for visitors and customers to make use of them.”

The governors hinted that officials have been directed to fumigate all the markets to ensure that they were devoid of diseases, saying the ratio of collection of samples has increased.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19 and the state deputy governor, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, said their objective was to contain the spread of the disease in the state.

He noted that since Kano recorded its index case of COVID-19, the task force has continued to work hard in ensuring that the spread of the virus was controlled.

“This we have done through a coordinated mechanism for preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Task Force has been working hand-in-hand with the Committee on Palliatives to ensure donations from corporate organisations and good spirited individuals,” he said.

The deputy governor added, “We are also working with traditional rulers, Civil Society Organisations, and other opinion leaders to ensure effective enlightenment of members of the public.”