Christmas: Police Prohibits Use Of Fireworks, Bangers, Others

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The Jigawa Police Command has placed a total ban on the use of fireworks, bangers and other explosives during the Yuletide in the state.

The command’s Police Public Relations Officer, Abdu Jinjiri, made this known in a statement in Dutse on Tuesday.

“This is to remind the general public that the ban on the use of fireworks, bangers and other explosives during any celebration is still in force,” he said.

Mr. Jinjiri warned parents to advise their children and wards to refrain from the use of such explosives capable of instilling fear in the people, especially during the upcoming Yuletide celebration.

According to him, the police will clampdown on persons selling and using such items in the state.

(NAN)

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BREAKING: FIFA Seeks Another 2 Years Ban For Nigeria’s Amos Adamu

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Nigerian administrator and former FIFA executive committee member Amos Adamu faces a second ban for unethical conduct.

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee of the world football governing body, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, recommended a two-year ban for the ex-WAFU president and former member of CAF and FIFA Executive Committees, from all football -related activities.

The FIFA’s investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee stated that Adamu violated articles 13, 15 and 19 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE).

A statement issued by the committee read: “The investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, were opened on 9 March 2015 and the final report was passed to the adjudicatory chamber on 2 December 2016.

“In the final report, the investigatory chamber recommends a sanction of a two-year ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports and any other) and a fine of CHF 20,000 for violations of arts 13, 15 and 19 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE).”

“The adjudicatory chamber under its chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert has studied the report carefully and decided to institute formal adjudicatory proceedings against Mr Adamu.

“In the course of the proceedings, the party will be invited to submit his position including any evidence with regard to the final report of the investigatory chamber (art. 70 par. 2 of the FCE), and may request a hearing (art. 74 par. 2 of the FCE).”

The judging chamber says Adamu can request a hearing.

It would be recalled, Adamu was first banned for three years and fined in November 2010 by the FIFA ethics committee for breaching bribery rules.

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Griezmann Wants To Retire In The MLS

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Antoine Griezmann has revealed he will love to end his career at the MLS and is eyeing Beckham’s club in Miami as a potential destination.

The France international has had an impressive year, reaching the final of both the UCL and Euro 2016.

Griezmann could have his pick of any club in Europe, but his love for the States is spurring him to the MLS.

“The United States is where I want to finish,” he said. “I love the States.

“I want to have a subscription to NBA and go with my children to every game. I can already see myself there.

“I do not yet know the city but why not play for Beckham’s franchise in Miami? Playing under Beckham would be the best.”

But the 25-year-old is happy to sit tight for the time being and ruled out what would be a controversial transfer to city rivals Real Madrid.

“I’m feeling good at Atletico Madrid,” he added. “Frankly, I don’t see myself leaving.

“People often talk about England, but I’m here.

“And then, going from Atletico to Real, it must be difficult. I do not necessarily want to try. I don’t think about it.”

Griezmann has scored nine goals in 21 matches for Atleti this season.

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Man Charged Over Alleged Rape Of His 18-Year-Old Girlfriend

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On Monday, 30-year old Hammed Abubakar, was taken before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly forcefully having sexual intercourse with his 18-year-old girlfriend.

Abubakar is facing a two-count charge of forceful sexual intercourse and assault.

The Prosecutor in charge of the case, Sgt. Kehinde Olatunde, told the court that the offences were committed by the accused on Dec. 12 at No. 8, Adeshina St., Ajangbadi, a suburb of Lagos.

According to the prosecutor, the accused had forced himself on 18-year-old Damilola Obasa in a bid to have sexual intercourse with her. He added that the victim sustained injuries to her head, right hand and vagina during the act.

The offences contravened Sections 171 and 258 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty.

The Magistrate, Mrs Bola Folarin-Williams, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case to Jan. 18 for mention.

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Enrique Not Worried About Neymar’s Lack Of Goals

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Luis Enrique has praised Neymar’s performance on the pitch, despite the forward’s lack of goals in a while.

The Brazil international has just six goals in 18 competitions, but has 14 assists to his name. Neymar has finished the last two seasons at Barcelona with over 30 goals.

And despite his barren run, Enrique has praised his performance and has expressed joy about his future at the club.

“The truth is we have to look at other seasons, how many assists he made, because this season he’s created a lot of goals,” he said.

“I don’t think about how many he scores. For any of the forward players, it’s going to be a lot.

“At the end of the day I don’t think it’s important, a little detail like this.

“He’s a fundamental player for us, he helps in defence too and I’m very happy with how he’s playing.

“He’s ambitious and he wants to improve his stats but his performances have been at the top level as they were in the seasons before.”

Neymar has gone nine games without the finding the target, with his last goal coming in a 4-0 Champions League victory over Manchester City on October 19.

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MMM: Nigerians Are Not Greedy, Merely Desperate

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MMM: Nigerians Are Not Greedy, Merely Desperate, By Owei Lakemfa

The Mavrodi, Melnikova, Mavrodi (MMM) international scam, known in Nigeria as the Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, has from all intents and purposes, collapsed in Nigeria. Its taken along the savings and hopes of about three million Nigerians. Some of the victims are reported to have attempted suicide. But contrary to our culture of emphathy and being our brother’s keeper, many have taken to the media in self-righteousness, berating the victims and accusing them of being greedy gamblers.

This piece was written by Owei Lakemfa. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

In a situation where otherwise respectable people are reported to be stealing pots of soup – out of desperation to cope with a runaway inflation that posts at least eighteen percent increase monthly – it should not surprise us that there would be millions of Nigerians attracted to a Ponzi Scheme like MMM.

READ ALSO: Why Every Nigerian Must Know About MMM (1)

Some not so informed commentators blame illiteracy, and I say they should examine the profile of the victims; many are educated and have access to the internet. In fact, a lot got into the scheme through the internet. So they had acess not just to the MMM website, but also to search engines like Google, where they read that the scheme they were about to get involved in was created in 1989 by three Russians – Olga Melnikova, Vyacheslav Mavrodi and Sergey Mavrodi, who named their scheme using the first letters of their surnames.

Some of the Nigerian ‘investors’ knew that in the 1990s, some 10 to 40 million people lost up to $10 billion in the MMM scheme.

READ ALSO:‘MMM Is A Fraud, Don’t Patronize It’ – CBN Warns Nigerians

I was aware, far back in January that the scheme was running in Nigeria and those who tried to talk me into it were educated Nigerians with a minimum of a degree. We argued about it. But all I could see were desperate Nigerians who seemed to have lost confidence in the country and were trying very hard not to lose confidence in themselves. If so many Nigerians can make the suicidal journey across the Sahara Desert and then a more dangerous one crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Europe in leaky, overcrowded boats, are we surprised that they would take a MMM risk?

It is easy for the overfed to preach contentment to the hungry; it cannot be difficult for those with guaranteed income and who can send their children to school, to talk about morality and the MMM scam, or condemn the victims while listening to sweet Christmas carols. For many of the victims, there will be no Christmas; they cannot hear the Angels singing and do not have hope of a ‘New, prosperous Year’.

The issue is not about religion or morality. Like the German writer, Bertolt Brecht admonished, we should not be speaking in the name of morality, but in that of its victims. Like an African wise saying, ‘You do not admonish the hunchback to straighten up; if he could, he would have done so without any prompting.’

The MMM matter is primarily about desperate citizens trying to keep afloat in a society with little or no social security; where hunger is no crime; poverty is no sin; a rat race is the norm; dog eats dog; market forces are the religion, and very man to himself and God for us all.

READ ALSO: MMM Resurfaces In Kenya Barely Days After Leaving 3 Million Nigerians Heartbroken

As a people, we should repossess our compass and show empathy for our fellow citizens so afflicted. We should ask why despite out past experiences with such schemes like Forum, Umanah Umanah, the wonder banks and internet scammers, millions of our people still fall prey. We should contribute to finding ways the MMM depositors can get back their funds or least a reasonable percentage of it.

If we ask ourselves why banks give ridiculously low interest rates on savings and charge scandalously high interest on loans, we will come to the inevitable conclusion that generally, banks do not serve the interests of Nigerians nor can their customers rely on them.

The MMM took advantage of the greed and unreliability of the banks to swindle people. It says in its mission statement that “This is a community of ordinary people, selflessly helping each other, a kind of the Global Fund of mutual aid. This is the first sprout of something new in the modern soulless and ruthless world of greed and hard cash. The goal here is not the money. The goal is to destroy the world’s unjust financial system. Financial Apocalypse!” In this, it falsely presents itself as a defender of the poor, running a self-help cooperative system as fight back against the exploitative, greedy and unfeeling banking system.

In reality, all MMM did was to modernise the American, Charles Ponzi’s 1919 scam of attracting lots of investors by offering a very high interest rate. He used the money of later investors to pay the earlier ones. But when there were not enough new investors, the last group, lost their investment. Hence, such scams are called Ponzi Sheme.

Part of our tragedy, as a people, is the abandonment of our culture and tradition. In many parts of our country, we have a pre-colonial, non-exploitative, reliable, mutually beneficial and development-oriented banking system called osusu. It is community-based and, unlike the modern banks, is there in times of need. The question is, why can’t we develop and expand this banking system to run parallel with the Western banking system? This is what the Chinese would have done, and that is why they are way ahead of us.

READ ALSO: Panic Among Participants As MMM Nigeria Freezes All Accounts

I am not completely ruling out the fact that some of the victims of the MMM might have been driven by greed, but that is partly why we have the state – to check the greed of the few, and provide the needs of the many. The greed of the few should be no excuse for regulators to allow our people to be scammed for a whole year when it is their duty to protect the state and the people.

The MMM, after fifteen years of mastering its scam, berthed in Nigeria in November 2015, dangling a monthly 30 percent interest rate. Although its fruits are well known, it was allowed to plant and water its seeds until growing pressure and exposure forced it on December 13, 2016 to announce a one month freeze. It promises to resurrect with the savings of the victims on January 13, 2017, but this is highly improbable. However if by some miracle it does, the certainty that it would soon go down the grave is not in doubt. The Central Bank and other regulators need to act on this and protect the citizenry. We must not abandon our people to scammers. Since the constitutional right to life does not include the right to commit suicide, we cannot allow free choice to include economic suicide. Nigerians must be protected.

Owei Lakemfa, former Secretary General of African Workers is a Human Rights activist, journalist and author.

This piece was written by Owei Lakemfa. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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Workers Protests A Total Disregard Of Nigerian Laws – Arik Air

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The Management of Arik Air has expressed its concern over the shutdown of its operations by unions in the aviation sector on Tuesday, even accusing them of using ‘strong-arm’ tactics.

The National Union of Air Transport Employees, the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers had on Tuesday embarked on a strike. The unions embarked on the joint action following the airline’s failure to pay seven months salary arrears and other alleged anti-labour practices. Adding that the industrial action would continue indefinitely until their demands were met by the management of Arik Air.

The union members shut down Arik Air’s flight operations at both the local and international wings of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos and also barricaded the airline’s corporate headquarters within the airport premises.

In a statement signed by Arik Air Communications Manager, Mr. Ola Adebanji, the airline condemned the actions of the protesting unions, especially the prevention of staff from gaining access to their workplace.  It said access to the airport terminals was fundamental to the airline’s operations for movement of its personnel to make ready and dispatch its aircraft for various flights.

The airline said, “The union leadership had earlier written a letter to the management of Arik Air on their grievances and a meeting had been scheduled between the two parties for Dec. 21.”

“The unions, however, did not wait for the scheduled meeting or the outcome of the meeting before embarking on such disruptive and strong-arm tactics against the airline.”

“The unions have demonstrated total disregard for the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria by interfering in the operations of the airline and preventing airline staff from carrying on with their duties of handling the passengers booked for today’s flights.”

 

The statement also read “Arik Air is appealing to all the security agencies, the Minister of Aviation, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency. We are also calling on all the other stakeholders in the industry to prevail on these aviation unions to allow for operations to commence immediately since this unjustifiable disruption by the unions has already inconvenienced the travel plans of thousands of passengers today.”

The airline also apologised to its passengers for any inconvenience experienced due to the disruption by the unions.

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“Leipzig Are A Good Young Team” – Ancelotti

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Bayern Munich play RB Leipzig in a match that could decide who stays top of the log and Carlo Ancelotti has praised their opponent.

Leipzig has enjoyed a meteoric rise to topflight football, with Red Bull playing the role of wealthy backers to a side that sits second on the log.

But Ancelotti is prepared to look beyond the money and focus on Leipzig’s on-field qualities.

“This is the perfect game for anyone who loves football,” he said ahead of the match between the two sides separated by goal difference at the Bundesliga’s summit.

“Tomorrow we will see two sides who play with very different styles. We will stay true to our style and assert ourselves. We will stand strong defensively and find the right balance.

“We need to put on a strong performance. We are playing against second in the Bundesliga.

“Leipzig are a good, young team that plays football with a lot of enthusiasm.

“Money isn’t the most important thing in football. The balance is right at Leipzig and their success gives them confidence.

“The key to victory is having the right balance between attack and defence. Leipzig are dangerous on the break so we need to be wary of that.”

Ancelotti confirmed both Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm are fit following recent injuries, while Jerome Boateng has been ruled out for six weeks after surgery on a pectoral tendon.

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Shelvey To Serve Five-Match Ban

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Newcastle United midfielder, Jonjo Shelvey will serve a five-match ban and pay a fine of £100, 000 after he was found guilty of using abusive words in reference to race.

The midfielder was charged by the Football Association in November over the incident involving Wolves player, Romain Saiss who plays for Morocco.

Shelvey pleaded not guilty to the charge, but will serve the ban and pay the fine, after the case against him was proven.

An FA statement read: “The Newcastle United player was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent in the 87th minute of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 17 September 2016.

“It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.

“The player, who denied the charge at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, was also ordered to attend an FA education course.

“The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal. Any appeal must be lodged within seven days from receipt of written reasons which will be produced in due course.”

Shelvey has made 26 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring three goals.

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The Wedding Party Breaks Nollywood Record, Hits N36m In Its Opening Weekend

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One of the most anticipated Nollywood movies of the year, the Kemi Adetiba directed ‘The Wedding Party’ has hit heights never before reached in Nollywood.

According to Ebony Life president, Mo Abudu, The Wedding Party now holds the record for the biggest weekend opening for a Nigerian movie after making N36m in cinemas across Nigeria in just 3 days.

Written by Tosin Otudeko, the romantic comedy, The Wedding Party finally opened in Nigerian cinemas on Friday, December 16, 2016.

In a celebratory instagram post, she congratulated all the stars of the movie

Congratulations to the entire cast and crew.

Wedding Party

 

 

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“No One Can Stop Chelsea” – Frank Lampard

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Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has claimed that none of his former side’s rivals has the “consistency and quality” to stop them winning this year’s Premier League.

The Blues have recorded 11 successive wins in the top flight to sit six points clear at the top of the table, and Lampard says that everyone at the club deserves huge credit for turning their fortunes around after back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal.

The 38-year-old told Sky Sports News: “All credit to everyone there and the manager. Obviously they changed the system after the defeat to Arsenal and no-one would have fancied them to be winning the league and now they look the dominant team.

“I can’t see anyone that has got the consistency and quality to close the gap so I fancy Chelsea strongly.”

Lampard, Chelsea’s record goal scorer, believes Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal can all challenge, but expects his former club to hold them off.

“[Man] City are in a decent position,” Lampard said. “And there are teams with quality for sure — City, I think Liverpool are very good to watch this year, and Arsenal.

“I think those will be the group chasing but with Chelsea, when you take that kind of a gap into Christmas, I think barring suspensions or injuries to top players like [Eden] Hazard and [Diego] Costa, I fancy them to carry it through.”

Lampard scored 211 goals in 648 appearances during his 13-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

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Marouane Fellaini Could Be Leaving Manchester United After Being Spotted In Milan With His Twin Brother Mansour

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Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is considering a January move to either Inter or AC Milan.

The 29–year-old Belgium international was spotted in the Italian city with his twin brother Mansour on Monday.

Marouane Fellaini, 29, was spotted checking Milan, with the player’s future at Old Trafford seemingly over.

It’s believed Marouane Fellaini has spoken to United teammates about a potential move away from the north west, and a potential new challenge in Serie A with the Rossoneri interested.

Manchester United would prefer to sell outright, and recoup some of their £27million outlay, however the Italians’ would be more keen on an initial loan move, with an option to purchase next summer.

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Tupac Shakur To Be Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced that the late Tupac Shakur will be among the 2017 class of inductees.

The legendary rapper will be one of the inductees at the induction ceremony scheduled to take place on April 7, 2017 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Other members of the 2017 class include Joan Baez, Pearl Jam, Yes, Journey and Electric Light Orchestra. Lead guitarist for Band Chic, Nile Rodgers is also set to receive the Award for Musical Excellence at the ceremony.

Artists are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single.The late rapper’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now was released in November 1991 making 2017 the first year Tupac is eligible.

Tupac Shakur is the sixth hip-hop act to ever be inducted as he joins Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and N.W.A as the hip-hop representatives in the Hall. He is set to become the first ever solo hip-hop artiste to join the Hall of Fame.

 

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Raheem Sterling Impressed By Leroy Sane After Arsenal Win

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Raheem Sterling believes Manchester City team-mate Leroy Sane has settled at the club and is ready for an extended run in the team.

Leroy Sane, who arrived in Manchester from Schalke for City in the summer has recovered from a hamstring injury which stalled his initial progress at the Etihad Stadium.

But, speaking after both players scored in Sunday’s victory over Arsenal, Sterling said: “For him, not starting at the beginning of the season does not help but he’s getting back into it now and I’m really happy for him.

“Hopefully he can now kick on. Before the game I said to him, ‘if I had a shot like you I’d be shooting every minute and no one would be able to take the ball off me’.

“I said, ‘if you get a chance, just shoot’ and he got his goal so I’m really pleased for him.”

Back-to-back home wins against Watford and Arsenal have given Sterling hope that City can close a seven-point gap on leaders Chelsea to fight for league title and enjoy an extended run in the Champions League.

City qualified second from their group in Europe’s elite club competition behind Spanish giants Barcelona and will face Monaco in the Round of 16 when the tournament resumes in February.

‘I’m massively excited about this season and what we can achieve,’ he said. ‘Of course we want the title, to do well in the Champions League. We have a good draw. It’s always a tough game but we have a chance to go through.’

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Raheem Sterling Impressed By Leroy Sane After Arsenal Win

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Raheem Sterling believes Manchester City team-mate Leroy Sane has settled at the club and is ready for an extended run in the team.

Leroy Sane, who arrived in Manchester from Schalke for City in the summer has recovered from a hamstring injury which stalled his initial progress at the Etihad Stadium.

But, speaking after both players scored in Sunday’s victory over Arsenal, Sterling said: “For him, not starting at the beginning of the season does not help but he’s getting back into it now and I’m really happy for him.

“Hopefully he can now kick on. Before the game I said to him, ‘if I had a shot like you I’d be shooting every minute and no one would be able to take the ball off me’.

“I said, ‘if you get a chance, just shoot’ and he got his goal so I’m really pleased for him.”

Back-to-back home wins against Watford and Arsenal have given Sterling hope that City can close a seven-point gap on leaders Chelsea to fight for league title and enjoy an extended run in the Champions League.

City qualified second from their group in Europe’s elite club competition behind Spanish giants Barcelona and will face Monaco in the Round of 16 when the tournament resumes in February.

‘I’m massively excited about this season and what we can achieve,’ he said. ‘Of course we want the title, to do well in the Champions League. We have a good draw. It’s always a tough game but we have a chance to go through.’

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Real Madrid’s Transfer Ban Reduced By The Court Of Arbitration For Sport

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Real Madrid have had their FIFA-imposed transfer ban reduced from two windows to one following their appeal to The Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Real Madrid‘s transfer ban has been reduced, allowing the club to sign new players sooner than expected.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has partially upheld Madrid’s appeal against FIFA’s two-window sanction, imposed for alleged breaches of regulations over the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

Madrid denied any wrongdoing and the CAS ruling means the reigning world and European champions will only be barred from registering new players in January, instead of the entirety of 2017 as initially proposed.

Real Madrid issued a statement on Tuesday, saying: “The court of arbitration for sport (Cas) has today informed Real Madrid of their decision by which they have partially upheld the appeal lodged by the club against the Fifa resolution which imposed a sanction forbidding the signing of players for two transfer windows, reducing said sanction to just one period, corresponding to the January 2017 transfer window.

“The decision highlights the injustice of the original ban imposed by Fifa, although the club regrets that the Cas lacked the courage to revoke the ruling entirely.”

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Real Madrid’s Transfer Ban Reduced By The Court Of Arbitration For Sport

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Real Madrid have had their FIFA-imposed transfer ban reduced from two windows to one following their appeal to The Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Real Madrid‘s transfer ban has been reduced, allowing the club to sign new players sooner than expected.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has partially upheld Madrid’s appeal against FIFA’s two-window sanction, imposed for alleged breaches of regulations over the signing of foreign players under the age of 18.

Madrid denied any wrongdoing and the CAS ruling means the reigning world and European champions will only be barred from registering new players in January, instead of the entirety of 2017 as initially proposed.

Real Madrid issued a statement on Tuesday, saying: “The court of arbitration for sport (Cas) has today informed Real Madrid of their decision by which they have partially upheld the appeal lodged by the club against the Fifa resolution which imposed a sanction forbidding the signing of players for two transfer windows, reducing said sanction to just one period, corresponding to the January 2017 transfer window.

“The decision highlights the injustice of the original ban imposed by Fifa, although the club regrets that the Cas lacked the courage to revoke the ruling entirely.”

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Antonio Conte Wants Genoa’s Diego Laxalt At Chelsea

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Antonio Conte is targeting Genoa wideman Diego Laxalt, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Chelsea boss is keen to bolster the Premier League leaders’ squad and is reported to have set his sights on bringing the 23-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

The Uruguayan only signed for Genoa on a permanent basis in July, but it is understood the Serie A side would be willing to sell at the right price.

  Diego Laxalt’s agent Vincenzo D’Ippolito admitted Conte’s interest and claims the Italian side would sell at the correct price.”Genoa believe in him, but they are always open to selling their players for the right offer,” D’Ippolito said. “Conte scouted Diego Laxalt when he was in Italy and he’s love him at Chelsea now.”

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Antonio Conte Wants Genoa’s Diego Laxalt At Chelsea

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Antonio Conte is targeting Genoa wideman Diego Laxalt, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Chelsea boss is keen to bolster the Premier League leaders’ squad and is reported to have set his sights on bringing the 23-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

The Uruguayan only signed for Genoa on a permanent basis in July, but it is understood the Serie A side would be willing to sell at the right price.

  Diego Laxalt’s agent Vincenzo D’Ippolito admitted Conte’s interest and claims the Italian side would sell at the correct price.”Genoa believe in him, but they are always open to selling their players for the right offer,” D’Ippolito said. “Conte scouted Diego Laxalt when he was in Italy and he’s love him at Chelsea now.”

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“Victor Lindelof Is Swedish Rio Ferdinand” – Jesper Blomqvist

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Manchester United treble-winner Jesper Blomqvist believes his former club have targeted Sweden’s answer to Rio Ferdinand in Victor Lindelof.

He told the Manchester Evening News: “I was watching the November match between Sweden and France on TV and caught a glimpse of Jose Mourinho in the stand.

“My first thought was that it could only be Victor Lindelof he was looking at. My second thought was what a great signing that would be for the player and Manchester United. It would be perfect.

READ MORE:  Manchester United Closing In On £75 Million Rated Benfica Defender Victor Lindelof

“I have seen him play for the national under-21s, the senior side and in the Champions League for Benfica and he has the right qualities.

“He’s quick, confident with the ball, likes to play and is very strong. For United fans I think the best comparisons would be with Rio Ferdinand and Ronny Johnsen.

“I’m not saying he is at their level yet but he is very capable of getting there. He’s a mature player and a mature person.”

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Italian Club Roma Interested In Swansea’s Glyfi Sigurdsson

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Swansea City midfielder Glyfi Sigurdsson has emerged as a January transfer target for Roma, according to the Daily Express

The Premier League struggled face a battle to keep hold of their standout player, who has attracted interest on the continent.

Swans boss Bob Bradley is keen to keep hold of Sigurdsson as he looks to avoid relegation, but the Iceland international’s desire to play European football could take the matter out of his hands.

Sigurdsson only signed a new four year contract with the Premier League strugglers in January after an impressive showing in the European Championship Finals.

Swansea had to fend off interest from Premier League Champions Leicester as well as Everton for the £25million rated star before he penned a new deal.

Swansea who sold Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew in the summer have slapped a hands off warning on Sigurdsson but Bob Bradley might not have a say in if he stays or goes.

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West Brom Close To Signing Benin Striker Rudy Gestede For £7 Million

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West Brom are closing in on the £7m signing of striker Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa, who are reportedly lining up Brentford frontman Scott Hogan as a replacement, according to The Sun.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis is confident of boosting his attacking options with the Benin international who moved to Villa Park from Blackburn for £6m in 2015.

The 28-year-old has scored four times this season and has also drawn interest from Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough.

Villa boss Steve Bruce will move quickly to replace Gestede if he leaves, with proven Championship striker Hogan his primary target to replenish his side’s push for promotion.

The Benin forward has also been attracting interest from Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough.

Rudy Gestede is understood to have attended Boro’s 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool last week.

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Strike! NLC Set May 2017 Deadline For Implementation Of N56,000 Minimum Wage

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday threatened that it would embark on a nationwide industrial action if the Federal Government fails to commence implementation of the N56,000 new national minimum wage by May 2017.

The President of the Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, who issued the threat during a chat with some selected Labour Correspondents in Abuja, decried the non-inclusion of the new wage increase in the N7.298 trillion for the 2017 fiscal year presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before the joint session of the National Assembly last week.

READ ALSO: Full Breakdown Of Nigeria’s ‘2017 Budget Of Recovery And Growth’

According to him, the NLC would not guarantee Industrial peace in the country if the government fails to constitute the tripartite committee to determine a new Minimum Wage in the country before May 1, 2017.

He stressed that the NLC had made a proposal of N56,000 Minimum Wage to the Federal Government and was still sticking to the demand.

He continued: “The issue of minimum wage remains sacrosanct because of the fact that by law and practice, the review is due and overdue. I have said clearly that we cannot guarantee any industrial peace any longer if necessary steps are not taken by government to try to resolve this issue before the next May Day. This is very clear because as we said, we have sent formal notice of demand as required by law to government to try to constitute the Committee.

“Essentially, the committee to dialogue and negotiate the minimum wage which is supposed to be tripartite has not been set up. If it is set up, all of you will be aware of the membership and also their terms of reference and the timeline given to them to actually dispose with this very vital issue.

“The issue is so sensitive because of the fact that a lot of our members have actually been subjected to a lot of difficulties because the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerian workers has been reduced to virtually nothing because of the inflation in the system, the free fall of the naira and to compound it with high cost of goods and services. More so, most workers now cannot meet up with their daily needs, they can’t pay their rents, they can’t send their children to school.

“It is even more compounded because cost of goods and services have gone up. So, side by side with the issue of fighting corruption is also for workers to be paid a decent wage that they can be able to have a meaningful living, so, this is the challenge.”

He added: “They must see reason to try to accommodate it because the fact is very obvious that it is legitimately due both in law and practice and therefore this is our approach. Once it is mutually agreed and from the statements I have listened to, I have not heard government say that they are not willing to consider the issue of minimum wage. I think the Minister of Labour has said very clearly that they are committed to review the minimum wage, but when is the issue now.

“Therefore let us not mix two things, is there a resistant to say that there will be no review of minimum wage? I am not sure I have heard that because by our constant interaction, the government has through the Minister of Labour said they are also willing to review the minimum wage. As I said earlier, we have made a formal demand, written and therefore if there is the need to review the template, we will do that at the table but that will have to be jointly. What we have submitted is N56,000 and therefore that N56,000 is still valid.”

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Manchester United Prepared To Sell ‘Flop’ Memphis Depay For Just £12 Million

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is willing to sell Memphis Depay for as little as £12m in a desperate bid to get him out of Old Trafford, reports the Daily Star.

Having forked out £25m to sign Memphis from PSV Eindhoven in 2014, United are ready to cut their losses on the Netherlands international with Mourinho, according to the report, desperate to get him off the wage bill.

Everton have expressed firm interest in Memphis, while Lazio,Southampton and Sevilla are also keeping close tabs on the situation.

The 22-year-old Holland international has made just one start for the Red Devils all season — in an EFL Cup win away to third-tier Northampton.

New boss Jose Mourinho wants a cull of the signings made by his predecessor Louis van Gaal, including Memphis, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

All have been told they can find new clubs next month.

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Wolfsburg Won’t Replace ‘Under Pressure’ Manager Valerien Ismael With David Wagner Just Yet

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Wolfsburg director Hans-Gerd Bode has backed coach Valerien Ismael and dismissed growing speculation his club are set to appoint Huddersfield’s David Wagner this winter.

Reports in England and Germany, including the Bild newspaper andKicker magazine, claim the Bundesliga club have held talks with Wagner about him replacing Ismael during the league’s winter break.

However, Bode says this is not a view held by Wolfsburg’s board of directors.

“We have a coach who is currently showing that he can give this team new direction,” he told Germany’s DPA agency.

“Last weekend’s result shows that the team has taken up the fight. We are playing Gladbach on Tuesday and nothing is going to happen to the coach either before or after that game.”

Ismael was angered by the persistent speculation about his future at the weekend, snapping at reporters during the post-match press conference after a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

He said: “It’s just getting on my nerves. If we lose a game then there are questions about my future – but they come even when we win a game.”

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