Abramovich, Deripaska Among Seven Oligarchs In New UK Sanctions

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 03, 2015 Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich (3L) attends the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich was on Thursday hit with an assets freeze and travel ban as part of new UK government sanctions targeting seven Russian oligarchs.

Among others sanctioned are leading industrialist Oleg Deripaska, Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin and the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller, the government announced.

Speculation has swirled for weeks about whether Abramovich would be included on the targeted action against Russian billionaires perceived to be close to the Kremlin.

Abramovich announced last week that he was selling Chelsea, after buying the English Premier League side in 2003, and bankrolled its successes at domestic and European level.

The UK government estimated his net worth at £9.4 billion (11.1 billion euros, $12.2 billion), but said it was mitigating the effect of the sanctions on Chelsea by allowing the club to continue to operate.

A special licence “authorises a number of football-related activities”, the government said in a statement.

“This includes permissions for the club to continue playing matches and other football-related activity which will in turn protect the Premier League, the wider football pyramid, loyal fans and other clubs,” it added.

Deripaska is Abramovich’s one-time business partner, while officials described Sechin as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “right-hand man”.

The four others — Miller, VTB bank chairman Andrey Kostin, Transneft president Nikolai Tokarev and Bank Rossiya chairman Dmitri Lebedev — are part of his inner circle,

Collectively, the seven have a net worth of about £15 billion, the statement read.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the sanctions “the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people”.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added: “Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society.

“With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression. The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands. They should hang their heads in shame.”

AFP

FC Barcelona Adds 1XBET As A New Global Partner

Online betting company and Barça sign sponsorship agreement for the next five seasons, through to 30 June 2024.

FC Barcelona and 1xBet have signed a new sponsorship deal whereby the online betting company will become a new Global Partner of the Club for the next five seasons, through to 30 June 2024.

The agreement, which comes into effect on July 1, forms part of the Club’s global expansion strategy, and also relates to its mission to source the best possible partners in different categories to help it to maintain its leading position not just on the field of play but also in terms of sports sponsorship and marketing.

As a result of this agreement, FC Barcelona and 1xBet will be working together in different activations from a wide range of assets, including access the players to create promotional material and marketing campaigns.

1xBet is a leading international gaming and technology company with more than 12 years of experience in the field, and offices in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The company has sponsorship deals in place with major rights holders including Serie A, Tottenham Hotspur and LaLiga Media Partner, to name a few.

 

Statement by Josep Pont, member of the FC Barcelona board and head of its Commercial Area 

 “We are convinced that this deal with 1xBet will help us to continue to grow both on and off the field. This deal consolidates our global expansion strategy and we are sure that it will help us to connect with new sports fans all around the world”.

 

Statement by Alex Sommers, spokesman of 1xBet

“We are very pleased to reach an agreement with one of the best clubs in the world. We are certain that 1xBet has something to offer to all FC Barcelona fans. We expect that the cooperation of two world-class brands will be lucrative for both parties. Barcelona’s slogan is “More than a club” and we hope that over the next 5 years, the fans will come to realize that 1xBet is more than a bookmaker”.

 

About 1xBet

1xBet is a leading international gaming and technology company with more than 12 years of experience in the field. It is one of the most rapidly developing companies in the betting industry, with offices in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, employing over 5,000 professionals.

1xBet boasts the largest number of markets in pre-match and live odds while also delivering a vibrant portfolio of online slots, live casino and table games, offering players the widest choice of entertainment. A digital first business, 1xBet accepts more than 250 payment solutions from all over the world and offers around the clock customer support in 30 languages.

https://1xbet.ng/

Football Club Opens Doors To London Homeless

An asylum seeker sleeps under a blanket on a bench at a makeshift tent camp where he lives, in Saint-Denis outside Paris on January 10, 2019.
Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

 

Crystal Palace have opened up their Selhurst Park stadium to rough sleepers seeking shelter from the winter weather, the English Premier League side said.

A lounge at the south London ground can be turned into a temporary overnight shelter for up 10 rough sleepers whenever temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing.

Under a deal with the Croydon Council local authority, people formally identified as sleeping rough are referred to Selhurst Park, where they can access a camp bed for the night, a hot evening meal, breakfast and washing facilities.

Eight people used the shelter on Thursday night, the first time it was opened, the club said in a statement.

The lounge was then converted back again on Friday morning.

“The club wants to be a force for good in the community and we are happy to do our bit to help those most in need,” said chief executive Phil Alexander.

Ifeanyi Ubah F.C. Involved In Car Crash

Six members of Ifeanyi Ubah football team have sustained varying degrees of injury after the bus conveying the players had a head-on collision with a passenger cab, which was overloaded.

The accident occurred on Friday morning when the team players and some officials were heading to Ijebu Ode for the NPFL Matchday 36 fixture with Sunshine Stars, set to hold on Sunday, 3rd of September, 2017.

The Chairman of the club, Mr Chukwuma Ubah in a statement released on Friday morning confirmed the accident.

He said, “Sequel to the reports making the rounds this morning. We wish to confirm that FC IfeanyiUbah team bus conveying players and officials was involved in a car accident along Benin/Ore expressway while on our way to Ijebu Ode to honour the NPFL Matchday 36 fixture with Sunshine Stars billed for this Sunday, 3rd of September, 2017.

“Six of our players sustained varying degree of injuries and two that are unconscious hitherto have regained consciousness and are receiving treatment presently at the closest medical facility near the site of the accident.

“We wish to express our felicitations for your concern, support, outpour of emotions, deepest thoughts and prayers at this sad times,” the statement said.

“More details as regards if we would be able to honour the match on Sunday or not will be made known shortly.”

Aston Villa Part Ways with Manager Paul Lambert

villaAston Villa’s Paul Lambert has emerged the fifth manager to depart in this current Premier League season, after Neil Warnock (Crystal Palace), Alan Irvine (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Pardew (Newcastle United) and Harry Redknapp (Queens Park Rangers).

According to a statement from Aston Villa, Lambert was shown the way out of the club after a run of ten winless games took them into the English Premier League relegation zone.

The forty-five year old took over at Villa Park in 2012 and led the Midlands club to 15th-place finishes in his first two seasons, but the former Scotland midfielder had come under pressure from fans following a poor run of recent form.

Villa’s 2-0 defeat to Hull City on Tuesday night was the last straw for the club’s board. The defeat saw them slip into the relegation zone for the first time this season – they were third from bottom ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League fixtures.

A lack of goals has been Villa’s primary problem all season – they have managed just 12 in 25 league matches and have not won in 10 games.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Aston Villa Football Club has parted company  with manager Paul Lambert. First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will continue to prepare the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Leicester City at Villa Park.

“The club would also like to place on record its thanks to Paul and take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future.

“The club will announce a new manager in due course. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”

Many of Villa’s travelling fans at Hull made it clear they wanted Lambert to be sacked.
After Tuesday’s defeat Lambert remained in defiant mood, saying: “I was aware of it (fan unrest) months ago. I just try to do my best.

“We have a massive fanbase behind us, and they want to see the team doing well. It was a disappointing result.
“We are in a fight. I have said it to the lads in the dressing room. They know it. There is still a lot of football to be played. We just have to go out to win the next game.”

Lambert replaced Alex McLeish in June 2012 after two years with Norwich City. He signed a new contract extension in September last year, shortly after a 1-0 win over Liverpool took them to second place in the table. They won three of their opening four matches of the season, drawing the other.

But Villa’s season soon collapsed – they have won just two of their last 21 games, including a dismal run of 659 minutes without a Premier League goal which ended in a defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
Nevertheless Villa chiefs showed every sign of resisting the growing unrest among Villa fans and keeping faith in the Scot despite their plunge into the relegation zone.

Villa have been knocked out of the League Cup by third-tier Leyton Orient, but have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.

EPL: Arsenal Announce 11 Player Departures

bendtner_nicklasA host of players including Nicklas Bendtner and Ju Young Park are set to leave Arsenal at end of their contracts

News on the Arsenal Football Club website has confirmed that the 11 players would be leaving the club when their contracts officially expire on June 30.

Nicklas Bendtner and Ju Young Park come to the end of their contracts, while Kim Kallstrom and Emiliano Viviano’s loan spells are set to conclude.

As already communicated by the club, Bacary Sagna, Lukasz Fabianski and Zak Ansah have completed permanent moves to Manchester City, Swansea City and Charlton Athletic respectively.

Meanwhile, academy players, Chuks Aneke, Daniel Boateng, Zach Fagan and Leander Siemann, also depart, having reached the end of their current agreements.

Bendtner‘s departure doesn’t come as a surprise after the striker failed to make a lasting impact once again last season. The 26-year-old scored two goals in 11 appearances throughout the 2013-14 campaign.

A statement from the English club thanked all of the players for their contribution to the club, and wished them well for the future.

Arsenal are expected to invest heavily in a new striker, right-back and squad improvements across the board, indicating a softened wage bill would come in handy.

Arsenal Transfers: Julian Draxler Set To Consider ‘New Challenge’

Julian Draxler has handed Arsenal Football Club a boost in their pursuit of the Schalke star after confessing that he was willing to consider his future if an interested suitor activated his release clause.

The Gunners were widely expected to sign the 20-year-old during the January transfer window but the North London club failed to seal a deal before the transfer day deadline.

The Germany international, who has a €45m (£40m) release clause has scored four goals and made five assists in 20 appearances in all competitions this season, a performance which had alerting the Gunners and other European clubs.

Draxler says he is happy with his current situation which allows him to weigh a new challenge if a club is willing to pay his release clause, whilst guaranteeing Schalke good monetary returns.

Draxler told German newspaper WAZ “I prolonged my contract because I feel fine here and the long-term deal shows the appreciation and popularity I enjoy at Schalke.

“It’s no secret that I have a release clause and therefore have the opportunity to consider what is best for my development every year.

“Of course, the clause leaves a lot of room for speculation, but it is also good for both sides.

“It’s good for Schalke because the club does not have to let go of me on the cheap and, in their worst-case scenario, they would still get a lot of money for me.

“And for me it’s good because I can make my own decision if a club decides to pay 45 million euros for me and I want a new challenge.”