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EFCC to grill Amaju Pinnick, Shehu Dikko, other NFF officials

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been directed to investigate and take necessary action against Mr Pinnick Amaju Melvin, Mallam Shehu Dikko and three other top board members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

A statement by Nneka, the Media Aide to the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said the probe was sequel to a petition the anti-graft agency received from a former Super Eagles’ Coach, James Peters.

It was reported that the petition was dated May 4, 2018 and titled: ‘MONUMENTAL STEALING AND FINANCIAL CRIMES IN THE NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION’.

In the petition, Peters, who coached National teams and led them to notable victories, urged the EFCC to carry out a thorough investigation on an alleged “unprecedented stealing, corrupt practices and financial crimes being perpetrated by the current President Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the General Secretary Dr Mohammed Sanusi, the 1st Vice President Barrister Seyi Akinwumi, the 2nd Vice President Mallam Shehu Dikko and a member of the Executive Committee Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf (AKA Fresh).”

The former Technical Director also alleged of “stealing and fraudulent activities by FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES LTD, a company cunningly brought into the NFF by President Amaju Pinnick for the sole purpose of warehousing money outside the official accounts of the NFF in the Central Bank and diverting same for fraudulent activities.”

Similarly, the petition stated that “These NFF chieftains have also used the company MEDITERRANEAN SPORTS LIMITED belonging to Mallam Shehu Dikko who is the 2nd Vice President of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the League Management Company, a body saddled with the responsibility of running the Elite league, and attracts millions of dollars from sponsorships and Chairman, Marketing and Sponsorship sub-committee of the NFF to collect over 40% of revenues from the numerous sponsors of the NFF.”

The petitioner in the letter, alleged that despite the Federal government’s policy of Treasury Single Account where monies of government Parastatals are lodged for purposes of checking leakages etc, Mr Amaju Pinnick and others obtained the services of FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES COMPANY LTD to warehouse revenue accruing to the NFF from well spirited individuals and Corporate organizations which never got to the NFF.

He further alleged that funds made available by corporate sponsors were never disclosed.

Mr Peters called for a Forensic audit to be carried out to look at all approvals and retirements by the mentioned persons.

In a notification letter with ref no. EFCC/EC/mos/59/17, and written to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, the anti-graft agency notified the Ministry that it had received a petition from Mr Peters.

Football

Fans fume over use of VAR in Champions League clash between Man city and Schalke

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Manchester City fans are adamant VAR has been used against them in their Champions League clash with Schalke this evening.

The German side were awarded two penalties in the first half to send the German side 2-1 up after 45 minutes.

And it has since emerged the television screen the referee is supposed to be able to use was not functioning.

Sergio Aguero gave Manchester City an early lead before Schalke were awarded their first penalty.

That was for a contentious handball by Nicolas Otamendi.
They were then punished a second time as Fernandinho fouled his man.

And that left City fans raging on social media.

One said: “What in the world is going on? City dominating. #VAR is now up 2-1 vs #ManCity.”

Another added: “It’s a shocking decision. The player is actively trying to avoid the ball and VAR goes against him. @ChampionsLeague sick decision. @ManCity unjustly punished there.”

A third explained: “Man City re getting robbed by the VAR…”
Ex-City midfielder Michael Brown was adamant the first penalty should not have been given.

He said: “There’s no way it’s deliberate handball.

“Otamendi gets set, sees he’s in trouble, that it’s heading towards his arm.

“He very quickly tries to put it behind his back but the ball is hit that quick at his arm that he can’t get it out of the way.”
Brown also criticised how long it took for a decision to be made with the use of VAR.

He added: “It was probably the longest VAR in history deciding the right decision.

“I don’t think they knew. Then finally they give the penalty.”

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Football

Schalke 2-3 Man City: Sane, Sterling score late goals

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Late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling gave Manchester City a 3-2 win at Schalke in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg.

Substitute Sane scored against his former club with a sensational free kick in the 86th after Nabil Bentaleb converted two spot kicks in the 38th and 45th minutes to put Schalke ahead.

Sergio Aguero had given City the lead in the 18th and the English champions were left with 10 men in the 68th minute when Nicolas Otamendi was sent off following a second booking.

City, who have conceded at least two goals in six of their seven games in the Champions League knockout stages under Pep Guardiola, will also be without yellow-carded Fernandinho for the return leg in Manchester on March 12.

SCHALKE 2-3 MANCHESTER CITY | AGUERO (18), BENTALEB (36, 44), SANE (84), STERLING (90)

Schalke XI: Fahrmann, Caliguiri, Bruma, Sane, Nastasic, Oczikpa, Serdar, Bentaleb, McKennie, Uth, Mendyl
Manchester City XI: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silva, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero

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Chelsea told to appoint former EPL manager as Sarri’s replacement

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Former Arsenal goalkeeper, David Seaman, has told Chelsea to appoint former Gunners boss, Arsene Wenger as Maurizio Sarri’s replacement at Stamford Bridge.

Seaman believes Wenger would be a great choice to replace Sarri at the West London club.

He stated this ahead of Chelsea’s UEFA Europa League round of 32 second-leg tie with Malmo on Thursday night.

Sarri, who joined Chelsea last summer, has been under intense pressure at Stamford Bridge due to the club’s recent poor performances.

“Arsene Wenger would be great at Chelsea, I think. He’d be great anywhere, he’s a fantastic manager,” Seaman said on talkSPORT.

“Arsene always said he wouldn’t come back to the Premier League because of his love for Arsenal that he wouldn’t feel right competing against Arsenal.

“But obviously time’s a healer and he could think. I want to go back there and prove a few people wrong.”

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