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IAAF threatens sanctions against Nigeria over $134,000 refund

The Nigeria House of Representatives instituted a probe into the issue in March 2018 but the matter is yet to be resolved.

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IAAF threatens sanctions against Nigeria over $134,000 refund
Jee Isram, Senior Manager, Governance, Member & International Relations Department, IAAF. (AFP)

The IAAF has threatened to stop Nigerian athletes from participating in this year’s African Games in Morocco.

Athletes could also miss the World Athletics Championships in Doha, as well as the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo following the country’s refusal to refund $134,000, which the IAAF mistakenly paid into Athletics Federation of Nigeria’s account two years ago.

The amount was said to have been paid by IAAF as part of its $15,000 annual grant to member federations for the year 2017. But instead of the $15,000, the IAAF mistakenly paid $150, 000 to the AFN. The IAAF accountants later discovered the error and subsequently asked AFN to refund the excess payment.

Former Secretary-General of AFN, Amaechi Akawo, allegedly contacted his superiors at the sports ministry then, but soon after, the money disappeared.

In IAAF’s letter to the AFN dated Tuesday May 13, 2019, Jee Isram, Senior Manager, Governance, Member & International Relations Department wrote:

“You were informed on March 14, 2018 by our CEO of a payment made by the IAAF to the bank account of your federation on May 17, 2017. A sum of $150,000 was transferred by the IAAF of which $134,000 was wrongly credited.

We promptly notified you of this overpayment and followed up several written correspondences, as well as a meeting with you in November 2017 requesting that you reverse the bank transfer for the overpaid amount to no avail.”

In the letter, he further wrote:

“On June 28, 2018, you informed us that the ministry of sports was ready to refund 50 percent of that amount and despite several telephone conversations the amount was still not paid.

While we were in Asaba in August 2018 during the African Senior Championships, we met with the Minister of Sports and the Permanent Secretary. We discussed about the return of the funds to the IAAF and until today we have not heard anything.”

He went ahead to conclude by saying:

“We understand that the Minister of Sports will be stepping down soon and it is imperative that you arrange for the return of the full amount within two weeks at the latest. Failure to receive the funds back within that period, we will have no alternative than to apply appropriate sanctions against your Federation.” IAAF official said.”

The Nigeria House of Representatives instituted a probe into the issue in March 2018 but the matter is yet to be resolved.

Sports

Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan reverses retirement decision

Gyan is Ghana’s all-time leading goalscorer with 51 goals in 106 appearances for the national team

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Ghana's Asamoah Gyan reverses retirement decision

Ghana’s national team captain, Asamoah Gyan on Wednesday reversed his decision to retire from international football, just weeks before the African Cup of Nations.

The striker said Monday he was quitting the national team after he was angered by coach Kwasi Appiah’s plan to strip him of the captaincy for next month’s finals in Egypt. 

But President Nana Akufo-Addo intervened on Tuesday by telephoning the Turkey-based player, urging him to make himself available for selection.

Gyan in a statement said he has accepted the president’s request, and was ready for the tournament.

“A presidential request is one that cannot be disregarded… I have taken the request of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in good faith, and will make myself available for selection by coach Kwasi Appiah,” the 33-year-old forward said in a statement. 

“My desire to help Ghana end the over three-decade long wait to annex the AFCON trophy still burns strong, and I remain committed to serving this great nation and the people of Ghana,” he added.

The tournament, expanded to 24 teams for the first time, kicks off on June 21.

The Black Stars are in Group F with defending champions Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

Gyan made his international debut at the age of 17 against Somalia in 2003.

He is Ghana’s all-time leading goalscorer with 51 goals in 106 appearances for the national team.

He has also featured at three World Cups, in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

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East Africa

Sevilla arrive Tanzania ahead of friendly with Simba

Sevilla will face newly crowned Tanzanian league champions, Simba on Thursday in a friendly match.

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Sevilla arrive Tanzania ahead of friendly with Simba

Hundreds of fans and media thronged the Julius Nyerere International Airport as Sevilla FC arrived Tanzania ahead of their season-ending East African tour.

They are the first Spanish top flight side to visit East Africa, one year after Atletico Madrid ’s planned trip to Kenya was aborted due to lack of a suitable stadium.

Sevilla will face newly crowned Tanzanian league champions, Simba on Thursday in a friendly match. Manager, Joaquin Caparros named an 18-man squad which includes Jesus Navas, Quincy Primes, Munir, and Wissam Ben Yedder.

According to SportPesa director of Administration and Compliance, Tarimba Abbas, the eagerly awaited clash will kick off at 7pm local time on the 23rd of May at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

“Sevilla’s tour will, among other things, help tourists and investors discover the uniqueness of Tanzania as a travel and business destination.” – Tarimba Abbas

“We invite top teams from Europe and other parts of the world to promote tourism and ensure that young footballers get the opportunity to train and learn from the very best,” he added.

While in the country, Sevilla officials will also conduct a coaching clinic for young players at the Uhuru National Stadium.

The objective is to pass on football tips to local young talents, according to Abbas.

The match and coaching clinics are part of the La Liga World Challenge powered by SportPesa, which sponsors the country’s football heavyweights, Simba and Young Africans.

According to Tanzania Football Federation competition director, Salum Madadi, FIFA badged referee Herry Sasii will handle Thursday’s match between Simba and Sevilla.

He will be assisted by Mohammed Mkono from Tanga and Soud Lila of Dar es Salaam.

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Sports

Algeria reveals AFCON plans

The team will depart the Middle East for Cairo to begin their Nations Cup journey.

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Image Credit: The Algerian Football Federation (FAF)

The Fennecs of Algeria have revealed their extensive Africa Cup of Nations preparation programme.

The Algerian Football Federation has confirmed that the programme, will be split into two parts. The first will start with a five-day camp that will run from June 3 to June 8 at the National Technical Center. 

The North Africans will then depart for Doha, for the second part of their Afcon preparation where they will face Burundi in a friendly match on June 11 before playing Mali on June 16.

The team will depart the Middle East for Cairo to begin their Nations Cup journey.

Algeria are drawn in Group C and will face Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania.

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