Buhari Reveals Why He Stopped Femi Adesina From Replying Obasanjo’s Letter

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President Muhammadu Buhari says he stopped his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina from replying former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter against his administration because “of Adesina’s age”.

The president explained the reasons when members of Buhari Support Organisation visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday night.

Mr Buhari explained further that the second reason why he deemed right not to reply the letter was that he and the former president were from the same (military) constituency.

He, however, noted that Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, who “disobeyed’’ him not to reply the letter, did a good job.

Buhari Plotting To Arrest, Jail Me – Obasanjo Cries Out

He observed that the reply by the minister showed Nigerians the realities on ground when the present administration assumed office in 2015 and its ongoing efforts to revive the inherited damaged economy.

“I really appreciate how you choose this time during Ramadan to come from across the country to see and congratulate me for what we were able to do.

“We were constrained to explain our position when the former head of state wrote a letter; Adesina was agitated and wanted to immediately reply; I stopped him for two reasons; first, he was much younger than me and Gen. Obasanjo.

“Secondly, I am from the same constituency with Gen. Obasanjo; so, I wouldn’t know how it will affect him if I allow him to go wild or to go public, but when Lai Mohammed came, I said he shouldn’t and he insisted. He disobeyed me.

“He said I must allow him to talk; then, of course, being a professional information person, I listened to him and asked him what are you going to say?

“He said he was going to remind Nigerians where we found ourselves when we came in as a government, where we are now, what we have done in between with the resources available to us.

“And I understand he did a good job because a number of people rang me and said Lai Mohammed has done a good job because I went public several times.

“I said it is on record and I challenged anybody to check from Europe, United States and Asia that between 1999 and 2014 the 16 years of previous administration there was an average of 2.1 million per day of crude oil at the average cost of 100 dollars per barrel,’’ he said.

Mr Buhari said he deliberately refused to replace the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria when his administration took over the mantle of leadership of the country because he wanted to give him the opportunity to salvage the economy from its terrible condition.

Mr Buhari, who thanked his teachers during his primary school days for their efforts to inculcate good morale to him and his mates, stated that his administration would continue to invest heavily in education to correct social ills in the society.

He said further that his administration had resolved to put money in infrastructural development to address infrastructural deficits and subsequently ensure speedy socio-economic transformation of the country.

“It is now that we are struggling to put the structure on the ground — the roads — to revive the rail and do the standard gauge and try to spend objectively on power.

“If we put money in infrastructure, it will create employment opportunities and then Nigerians will mind their own businesses, they wouldn’t even mind what the government is doing once the infrastructure is there,’’ he said.

The president reassured Nigerians that his administration would continue to spend more funds to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure.

He said the government had also expended more than N1.3 trillion on capital projects across the country.

According to him, the government will continue to ensure financial discipline, accountability and effective supervision of its spending to have solid infrastructure to enable the youth to achieve their missions and objectives in life.

He thanked the members of the organisation for their support and sacrifices, noting that none of them had ever made any specific demand from him.

In his remarks, the leader of the organisation, Abba Ali, who narrated the achievements of the Buhari administration in the last three years, said they were on solidarity visit to the president to further reassure him of their support.

He said the organisation had established offices in all the 36 states and 774 local government areas of the country, while efforts were being made to ensure the re-election of the president in 2019.

Paulina Tallen, a member of the Board of Trustees of the organisation, who spoke at the event, assured the president that women would massively vote for him and other candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the 2019 general elections.

She, nonetheless, called on the president to bring more qualified women politicians and professionals in government to address the perceived marginalisation of women by APC-led administration in the country.

NAN

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Buhari Departs Nigeria For Morocco On Sunday

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President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to embark on a two-day working visit to the Kingdom of Morocco on Sunday, June 10, 2018.

This is contained in a statement issued to pressmen earlier today by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Shehu said the visit, which is at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, would see the two leaders discuss socio-economic matters affecting their countries, following prior engagements in December 2016, during the king’s official visit to Nigeria.

The statement read in part, “In Rabat, discussions will focus on strengthening existing agreements on the fertilizer industry, education cooperation, the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project and establishing a basic chemical platform to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and support Morocco’s diammonium phosphate industry.

“It is noteworthy that following the signing of a collaboration agreement between Nigeria and Morocco in December 2016 to revive the abandoned Nigerian fertilizer blending plants, 14 plants have been revitalized so far under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative; with a total capacity of 2.3 million MT of NPK fertilizers.

“The President will be accompanied on the trip by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State and other senior government officials.”

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Mohamed Salah Confident About His Chances Of Playing Egypt’s Opening World Cup Game Vs Uruguay

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Mohamed Salah is confident he will be fit enough to take part in Egypt’s World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg next Friday

Mohamed Salah went off with a shoulder problem in the first half of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last month’s Champions League final but the speedy forward expects to play some part in Egypt’s first Group A fixture in Russia.

“Now I’m feeling better,” Salah told the Spanish daily. “I’m hopeful of being able to play in our first game, but this will depend on how I feel when the day comes around.”

Salah, who laughed off Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’s claim that he would have been able to continue in Kiev had he taken a pain-killing injection, scored the penalty that sealed Egypt’s place at a first World Cup in 28 years and insists they are not in Russia to make up the numbers.

“We’ve got a great team and a great coach. We want to get into the next round and do things well there,” he added. “We’re strong as a group, we all have the same objective, which is to win and that’s the most important thing. We don’t just have one strong point, but the main thing is we play together as a group.”

“The pressure was to qualify for the World Cup. Of course, you can then say ‘right, we’ve got there, that’s that’, but for me, it’s not like that. We want to make history and achieve something different.

“It’s not a simple case of going, playing three games and thank you very much. That’s not going through my head.”

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Mohamed Salah Confident About His Chances Of Playing Egypt’s Opening World Cup Game Vs Uruguay

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Mohamed Salah is confident he will be fit enough to take part in Egypt’s World Cup opener against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg next Friday

Mohamed Salah went off with a shoulder problem in the first half of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in last month’s Champions League final but the speedy forward expects to play some part in Egypt’s first Group A fixture in Russia.

“Now I’m feeling better,” Salah told the Spanish daily. “I’m hopeful of being able to play in our first game, but this will depend on how I feel when the day comes around.”

Salah, who laughed off Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos’s claim that he would have been able to continue in Kiev had he taken a pain-killing injection, scored the penalty that sealed Egypt’s place at a first World Cup in 28 years and insists they are not in Russia to make up the numbers.

“We’ve got a great team and a great coach. We want to get into the next round and do things well there,” he added. “We’re strong as a group, we all have the same objective, which is to win and that’s the most important thing. We don’t just have one strong point, but the main thing is we play together as a group.”

“The pressure was to qualify for the World Cup. Of course, you can then say ‘right, we’ve got there, that’s that’, but for me, it’s not like that. We want to make history and achieve something different.

“It’s not a simple case of going, playing three games and thank you very much. That’s not going through my head.”

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Guti Will Be Real Madrid’s Next Manager, Real Murcia President Claims

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Real Murcia’s president says they were unable to hire Guti as their new coach because he is about to be appointed Real Madrid boss.

Zinedine Zidane left his post at the Bernabeu last month after landing his third successive Champions League trophy.

In the aftermath of his departure various names, including Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri, have been linked with the job.

However, Murcia’s president Victor Galvez says Guti, who is in charge of Real Madrid’s U18 side, will be the man to succeed Zidane.

“Guti won’t become Murcia boss because he’s going to become Real Madrid coach,” Galvez said.

“He was the guy I wanted, and it’s a shame Zidane didn’t take a couple of days longer to make his decision. Guti called me to thank me for my interest.”

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Mario Gotze Wants To Play For Jurgen Klopp Again

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Mario Gotze has refused to rule out a reunion with former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The 2014 World Cup winner rose to prominence under Klopp at Dortmund and has left to open to a potential move to Anfield.

Yet speaking on a special ‘Being Mario Gotze’ documentary, the 26-year-old revealed he would like to play under Klopp once more.

“I decided to leave Bayern and Jurgen Klopp was interested in getting me to Liverpool. And I was also interested in working with him again,” Gotze told the DAZN documentary ‘Being Mario Gotze’.

“It’s still existing. He is a world-class coach and that’s why it’s always an option.”

“I decided to join Borussia Dortmund, but it was not a decision against Liverpool or Jurgen Klopp.”

Mario Gotze had initially left Dortmund to join Bayern Munich, but he admitted he struggled to enjoy his football under Pep Guardiola after being nurtured under Klopp.

“Pep Guardiola was technically one of the best coaches,” he added.

“But I had the feeling that he thinks only on the pitch and leaves out the people and the outside. The empathy was not that big.

“It was not easy for me, just because I came from Kloppo, who was like a footballing father. Pep was the complete difference.

“A world-class coach needs empathy, every athlete is also human and you should combine both.” Jurgen Klopp.”

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Samuel Umtiti Urges Nabil Ferkir To Focus Amid Liverpool Transfer Saga

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Samuel Umtiti has urged compatriot Nabil Fekir to sort his future out before the start of the World Cup.

The Lyon midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, but there are suggestions issues with his medical have stalled the deal.

Regardless, Umtiti hopes a decision can be reached as soon as possible so Fekir can focus on France’s World Cup campaign.

“The situation of Nabil? I did not talk to him about it,” the Barcelona defender said. “It’s better to fix it yourself. I just hope it will be before the World Cup.”

Nabil Fekir enjoyed a stunning season for Lyon, scoring 23 goals and providing eight assists as they finished third in Ligue 1.

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NCC Directs All Telecoms Operators To Begin Data Rollover From June 26

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The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has directed operators in the telecommunication industry to begin data rollover from June 26, 2018.

Literally, it means that henceforth, telecom operators must add a subscriber’s unused or unfinished data to his/her new or next data subscription.

Before the new directive from the NCC, subscribers’ unfinished or unused data subscription automatically became useless to them as soon as it hit the expiry date.

But on Friday, the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Garba Umar Danbatta, said telecom operators must begin the implementation of the data rollover directive from June 26, 2018.

This he said during the 95th consumers outreach programme in Dutse, Jigawa State.

The NCC boss, who was represented by the Head of Information and Reference Unit of the commission, Alhaji Ismail Adedigba, said failure by the operators to start implementing the directive would attract N5m fine on each subscriber, which they failed to roll over.

 “The NCC has directed the telecom service providers in the country to begin the implementation of data rollover on June 26, 2018. They have been duly informed about this and they have also been given adequate time to prepare their networks for it.

“Failure to implement this will attract N5m fine on the first of failure on each sim card and N500,000 on each day that follows the first default date.

“All these are to ensure that the consumers’ rights, privileges and interests are adequately protected,” he said.

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Buhari Signs Bill Prescribing Single Term For VPs Who Complete President’s Tenure

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed into law a bill that limits a vice-president or deputy governor who completes the terms of their principals to seeking reelection only once more.

This was one of three bills the president signed yesterday that make key changes to pre and post election laws in Nigeria.

“The other one is Act or Bill number 16 which is now an act and the intent of that act is to ensure that where a Vice President succeeds that president and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than once more.

“And the fact is that having taken the oath as President once, and you can only contest for once again and no more. That is the intent of this amendment,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, disclosed this to State House correspondents.

He said Buhari also signed a bill that gives INEC sufficient time to conduct by-elections, saying it had increased the number from seven to 21 days and generally widened the latitude of the commission to handle election matters on vacancy.

“The other amendment is Bill number 9 now an act which gives the Independent National Electoral Commission sufficient time to conduct bye elections. It has increased the number from seven to 21 days and generally widened the latitude of the Independent National Electoral Commission to handle election matters upon vacancy occurring.

“Therefore these four bills adding to the Not Too Young To Run Act have now been assented by Mr. President and have now become laws. Then the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended are hereby further amended by the assent of Mr. President to these bills today.

“This allows the State Houses of Assembly to operate like the National Assembly does because the National Assembly does not get its budget from the Executive,” he added.

Enang said Buhari also signed the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill which grants financial autonomy and independence to state Houses of Assembly and state judiciary.

He said the president also signed a bill relating to the determination of pre-election matters, reducing the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that those matters in court do not get into the time of the elections and do not pend.

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#WorldCupWith360Nobs: The Groups, The Venues, The Schedule

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The much awaited 2018 World Cup in Russia is drawing ever near, with the curtain raiser between the hosts and Saudi Arabia, in Moscow come Thursday June 14.

The first mouthwatering tie happens the next day, with Portugal facing Spain in Sochi, the match between Egypt and Uruguay will kick off hours before Ronaldo  faces La  Roja.

Nigeria’s first match is on Saturday against Croatia. The last group game for the Super Eagles is against Argentina on the 26th of June.

 

GROUPS

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay

 

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran

 

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark

 

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria

 

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

 

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea

 

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England

 

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

 

SCHEDULE

 

GROUP STAGE

Date Match Venue Kick-off (BST)

Thursday June 14 Russia v Saudi Arabia (A) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm

Friday June 15 Egypt v Uruguay (A) Ekaterinburg 1pm

Friday June 15 Morocco v Iran (B) St Petersburg 4pm

Friday June 15 Portugal v Spain (B) Sochi 7pm

Saturday June 16 France v Australia (C) Kazan 11am

Saturday June 16 Argentina v Iceland (D) Moscow (Spartak) 2pm

Saturday June 16 Peru v Denmark (C) Saransk 5pm

Saturday June 16 Croatia v Nigeria (D) Kaliningrad 8pm

Sunday June 17 Costa Rica v Serbia (E) Samara 1pm

Sunday June 17 Germany v Mexico (F) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm

Sunday June 17 Brazil v Switzerland (E) Rostov-on-Don 7pm

Monday June 18 Sweden v South Korea (F) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm

Monday June 18 Belgium v Panama (G) Sochi 4pm

Monday June 18 Tunisia v England (G) Volgograd 7pm

Tuesday June 19 Poland v Senegal (H) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm

Tuesday June 19 Colombia v Japan (H) Saransk 4pm

Tuesday June 19 Russia v Egypt (A) St Petersburg 7pm

Wednesday June 20 Portugal v Morocco (B) Moscow (Luzhniki) 1pm

Wednesday June 20 Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A) Rostov-on-Don 4pm

Wednesday June 20 Iran v Spain (B) Kazan 7pm

Thursday June 21 France v Peru (C) Ekaterinburg 1pm

Thursday June 21 Denmark v Australia (C) Samara 4pm

Thursday June 21 Argentina v Croatia (D) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm

Friday June 22 Brazil v Costa Rica (E) St Petersburg 1pm

Friday June 22 Nigeria v Iceland (D) Volgograd 4pm

Friday June 22 Serbia v Switzerland (E) Kaliningrad 7pm

Saturday June 23 Belgium v Tunisia (G) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm

Saturday June 23 Germany v Sweden (F) Sochi 4pm

Saturday June 23 South Korea v Mexico (F) Rostov-on-Don 7pm

Sunday June 24 England v Panama (G) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm

Sunday June 24 Japan v Senegal (H) Ekaterinburg 4pm

Sunday June 24 Poland v Colombia (H) Kazan 7pm

Monday June 25 Uruguay v Russia (A) Samara 3pm

Monday June 25 Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A) Volgograd 3pm

Monday June 25 Spain v Morocco (B) Kaliningrad 7pm

Monday June 25 Iran v Portugal (B) Saransk 7pm

Tuesday June 26 Denmark v France (C) Moscow (Luzhniki) 3pm

Tuesday June 26 Australia v Peru (C) Sochi 3pm

Tuesday June 26 Nigeria v Argentina (D) St Petersburg 7pm

Tuesday June 26 Iceland v Croatia (D) Rostov-on-Don 7pm

Wednesday June 27 South Korea v Germany (F) Kazan 3pm

Wednesday June 27 Mexico v Sweden (F) Ekaterinburg 3pm

Wednesday June 27 Serbia v Brazil (E) Moscow (Spartak) 7pm

Wednesday June 27 Switzerland v Costa Rica (E) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm

Thursday June 28 Japan v Poland (H) Volgograd 3pm

Thursday June 28 Senegal v Colombia (H) Samara 3pm

Thursday June 28 England v Belgium (G) Kaliningrad 7pm

Thursday June 28 Panama v Tunisia (G) Saransk 7pm

 

LAST 16

Saturday June 30 1C v 2D (Match 50) Kazan 3pm

Saturday June 30 1A v 2B (Match 49) Sochi 7pm

Sunday July 1 1B v 2A (Match 51) Moscow 3pm

Sunday July 1 1D v 2C (Match 52) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm

Monday July 2 1E v 2F (Match 53) Samara 3pm

Monday July 2 1G v 2H (Match 54) Rostov-on-Don 7pm

Tuesday July 3 1F v 2E (Match 55) St Petersburg 3pm

Tuesday July 3 1H v 2G (Match 56) Moscow (Spartak) 7pm

 

QUARTER-FINALS

Friday July 6 Winner 49 v winner 50 (57) Nizhny Novgorod 3pm

Friday July 6 Winner 53 v winner 54 (58) Kazan 7pm

Saturday July 7 Winner 55 v winner 56 (60) Samara 3pm

Saturday July 7 Winner 51 v winner 52 (59) Sochi 7pm

 

SEMI-FINALS

Tuesday July 10 Winner 57 v winner 58 St Petersburg 7pm

Wednesday July 11 Winner 59 v winner 60 Moscow (Luzhniki) 7pm

 

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF

Saturday July 14 Losers of two semi-finals St Petersburg 3pm

 

FINAL

Sunday July 15 Winners of two semi-finals Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm

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Buhari Appoints Folashodun Shonubi As New Deputy Governor Of CBN

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, June 8, approved the nomination of Mr. Folashodun Shonubi as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, subject to Senate confirmation.

The approval was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Shonubi is currently the Managing Director of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc – the financial payments, facilitation and settlement platform – which has been instrumental to the growth in electronic payments in the Nigerian financial industry.

Before assuming the headship of NIBBS in 2012, Shonubi had garnered decades of executive-level experience in financial service operations, notably as Executive Director at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Renaissance Securities Nigeria Ltd and Ecobank Nigeria Plc.

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OBE Honor Comes With ‘Mixed Emotions’ After Death Of Bradley Lowery – Jermain Defoe

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Jermain Defoe is extremely honoured after being chosen to receive a royal honour on Friday but says the award is also bitter-sweet due to the death of his young friend last year.

Jermain Defoe, 35, has been appointed an OBE for the charitable work of his foundation.

But the Bournemouth star said the moment was filled with “mixed emotions” almost a year after the death of h, a six-year-old battling neuroblastoma who Defoe had befriended.

“It’s obviously mixed emotions because obviously standing here [is] one of the proudest moments of my life,” Defoe said. “But at the same time remembering all the hurt.

“I’ve got great memories of Bradley in my head but it wasn’t easy seeing someone that you love suffer like that, especially a young kid, where he didn’t really understand what was going on and you have to remain positive.”

Defoe was alerted to the honour by his mother. He said couldn’t wait to celebrate with his family.

“I can’t wait to tell Gemma, I think she is the first person I am going to tell to be honest and I know she will be happy, she will be proud,” he said.

And he was quick to rank it among his life’s top achievements.

“It’s at the top because I feel like this is something completely different,” he said.

“I am proud of it to be honest. It’s important to just give back and try and help others.”

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#WorldCupWith360nobs: Alcohol Ban And Other Restrictions At Russia 2018 Tournament

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Keen to prevent a repeat of ugly scenes from previous tournaments, authorities in Russia have imposed draconian measures during the World Cup, cracking down on everything from alcohol to kebabs.

Here are some of the new restrictions that affect Russians as well as international fans during the tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15.

– Sale of alcohol –

On matchdays and the day before, the sale of alcoholic drinks and all drinks in glass bottles will be banned in fan zones, around stadiums and in other busy locations such as parks and railway stations in host cities.

The authorities also intend to revive the Soviet institution of drunk tanks, run by the police, where drunk fans will be taken to sober up.

– Registering with police –

Both foreigners and Russians who travel to one of the World Cup host cities will have to register with police within 3 days of arrival, displaying proof of identity and showing they have accommodation.

Previously, Russians were only supposed to register with police if they stayed in another city for more than 90 days. In any case, these rules had rarely been implemented in recent years.

Foreigners who travel to several of the 11 host cities and stay in each for more than 3 days will have to register multiple times.

While hotels will organise registration, this is more complex for those renting private flats with the owner expected to register them. Some journalists covering the World Cup have already had problems after failing to register in time on arrival.

– Crackdown on protests-

A decree signed by President Vladimir Putin drastically curtails the rights of Russians to hold protests during the World Cup.

Public events unconnected to sport can only be held in certain places and at times approved by the authorities. For example in the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals, demonstrations must not involve more than 100 people and can only be held between 2 and 4 pm.

Music festivals planned for this summer in Russia have also had to move their dates to after the World Cup.

– Sightseeing –

While prices for hotel rooms and rented flats have soared, the authorities have also decided to squeeze out organised tours, which are particularly popular with Russians.

Coaches of sightseers will be banned from entering host cities and pleasure boats will not be allowed to sail on their rivers.

The authorities have identified 41 locations over which all of types of flights will be banned during the World Cup, while the use of drones is banned in a 100-kilometer radius around the host cities. A special army squadron will be deployed to set up electronic jamming around stadiums.

In Moscow, known for its snarled traffic, as well as in other big cities, some streets in the centre and near stadiums will be closed, risking further jams.

The mayor of Kaliningrad, one of the host cities, has even urged residents to leave the city and have a relaxing break in the countryside during the matches.

– Barbecue ban –

Already hit by sanctions banning European meat and other foods, Russians will now find it harder to fire up barbecues to grill their beloved kebabs (known as shashlik).

Due to forest fires that have spread over large areas this summer, particularly in Siberia, the authorities have ordered tougher restrictions on lighting fires outdoors during the World Cup.

The rules to be implemented by the host cities call for bans on campfires, setting fire to grass and cooking meat al fresco in areas that lack special facilities.

**AFP

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Buhari Plotting To Arrest, Jail Me – Obasanjo Cries Out

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has raised the alarm that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is plotting to slam false charges on him, to pave the way for his indefinite detention.

Obasanjo, who led Africa’s most populous country from 1999 to 2007, supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s ascension to the country’s top post, has emerged one of his most potent critics in recent months.

“Impeccable security sources have alleged Chief Obasanjo’s name is on their Watch List and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed,” Obasanjo’s media aide Kehinde Akinyemi said in a statement on Friday.

“According to these informants, many of who are in the top echelon of the Nation’s security management and close to the corridors of power, the operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail the personal liberties of the former President and hang a crime on him.”

He said the Buhari administration had also perfected a plan to use fake documents and witnesses against him. He said this will be a re-enactment of the Abacha era in which he (Obasanjo) was detained on trumped up charges.

Part of statement is below:

‘Impeccable security sources have alleged Chief Obasanjo’s name is on their Watch List and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed. According to these informants, many of who are in the top echelon of the Nation’s security management and close to the corridors of power, the operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail the personal liberties of the former President and hang a crime on him’.

‘Ordinarily, we would not have dignified these reports with a response but for the fact that many of these informants are not known for flippant and frivolous talks. Secondly, this Government has demonstrably exhibited apathy, and in some cases, encouraged by its conduct, daily loss of lives and property in many States of the country, the office cannot be indifferent.

“We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is currently being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same Government they serve. There is a groundswell of our nationals that live in fear that they could be hounded, harassed, maimed or even killed as the battle for 2019 takes this worrisome dimension.

“For Chief Obasanjo, this is a joke carried too far and being someone who do not act on unofficial information, he had cautioned all informants and adopted a wait-and-see attitude to the bestial propositions allegedly being contemplated to cow, cage and embarrass him.

“The content of the alleged beastly designs, it was learnt are two-fold for now. One, to seize his International Passport and clamp him into detention indefinitely, in order to prevent him from further expressing angst on the pervasive mediocrity in the quality of governance, economic management and in the protection of lives and property by the Government.

“But, since that could expose the Government to a swath of international condemnation, embarrassment and outrage, it is said that another plot being hatched is to cause the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open investigation into the activities of Chief Obasanjo’s administration using false witnesses and documents. This will be a re-enactment of the Abacha era in which Chief Obasanjo was one of the principal victims’.

‘The same EFCC that had conducted a clinical investigation on the activities of Obasanjo in and out of Government, it was said, would now be made to stand down the existing report that gave Chief Obasanjo a clean bill of health on the probes are now to get him indicted, fair or foul for possible prosecution and persecution like it is being done to real and perceived opponents, enemies and critics of this Government’.

‘Dissent is a fundamental principle on which liberal democracy is predicated. A true democrat must be ready to live with and accommodate dissent and opposition. While it is regrettable how the Government has sunk in its shameless desperation to cow opposition, a resort to blackmail, despotism and Gestapo-tactics being employed by the goons of this Government would not hold water. And no government ever remains in power forever.

‘For the record, Chief Obasanjo reiterates his readiness to face probe again after that of the House of Representatives, the Senate, the ICPC, and the EFCC, but before an independent, objective and credible panel of enquiry to account for his stewardship in Government and beyond’.

‘Chief Obasanjo reiterates that he has taken a principled position to ensure that the ship of the Nigerian State does not capsize and he remains steadfast in his resolve to turn the tide of maladministration, poor economic management and rudderless governance model that has tore Nigerians apart on account of religion and ethnicity which is a great threat to our democracy’.

‘We would like the Government and its supporters to understand that no amount of campaign of calumny, no matter how well contrived, orchestrated or marketed would deter Chief Obasanjo from calling a spade by its name. Chief Obasanjo is a patriot whose sole agenda is to ensure that the country’s unity, progress and democracy are not negotiated on the altar of incompetence and provincialism and mediocrity.

‘It is important to point out that Chief Obasanjo is one former President and Head of State who has engaged the current administration privately and in a bilateral manner on several issues of direct interest to the government and other matters of national concern. That channel of private engagement remains open and continues. However, should there be the need for public engagement, the right to free speech will always be exercised and jealously guarded, again in the best interest of Nigeria and the government.”

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Germany Coach Joachim Low Hits Out On Fans For Continuously Booing Ilkay Gundogan

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Germany head coach Joachim Low has hit out at German fans for again booing midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

Ilkay Gundogan was jeered by supporters during last Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Austria following his meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Even louder boos rained down once more in Leverkusen on Friday when Gundogan came on as a second-half substitute during the 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia, despite Low gesturing for the masses to applaud.

Ilkay Gundogan Booed By Germany Supporters Again During Saudi Arabia Friendly Match

“He took a picture, yes, but he made no political statement,” Low said.

“He spoke about this with the press last week and underlined his support for German values, that he was born here, brought up here, his family and friends are here. Everybody must move on from this now.”

“That [booing] doesn’t help anyone.”

Ozil, who is nursing a minor knee issue, did not play in the match.

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Benfica’s Anderson Talisca Complete Loan Move To Chinese Club Guangzhou Evergrande

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Benfica have loaned Anderson Talisca to Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, media reports quoted the club as saying on Friday.

The loan deal is for six months.

The Chinese side made no comment in English but their website featured a picture of the 24-year-old holding the club shirt with the words “Welcome Guangzhou”.

A club statement read: “Guangzhou Evergrande has officially announced the signing of an agreement with the Brazilian Anderson Talisca, who has been loaned for six months.”

The 24-year-old joined Benfica from Brazilian side Bahia in 2014 and during his spell made 52 appearances, scoring 12 goals.

Talisca was called up to the Brazilian national team in 2014, however, did not play and is yet to represent his country at senior level.

Talisca registered 20 goals and eight assists across all competitions for Besiktas in the previous campaign as they finished fourth to qualify for next season’s Europa League competition.

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Ilkay Gundogan Booed By Germany Supporters Again During Saudi Arabia Friendly Match

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Gundogan was photographed along with Mesut Ozil with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month at an event in London in which he caused anger by dedicating a shirt to Erdogan – describing him as “my president”.

Both players, who are of Turkish descent, were whistled by their own fans during the defeat in Austria last Saturday, prompting team manager Oliver Bierhoff to urge supporters to refrain from heckling them in Leverkusen on Friday.

“For all the irritation we have now, we are one team, also in Germany with our fans,” he said. “Sure, things took the wrong direction a bit. But we are now looking ahead. And that’s why I hope that everyone, even though maybe still annoyed, withholds their anger a bit.”

Gundogan and Ozil, who met German chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit to Germany’s pre-World Cup training camp in Italy, were whistled by sections of the travelling support during the friendly defeat in Austria last weekend.

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Sergio Aguero Denies Any Rift With Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola

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Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has declared his intention to stay at the club next season, describing his relationship with manager Pep Guardiola as “really good”.

Pep Guardiola has often favoured Gabriel Jesus as his main striker, resulting in periods on the sideline for Aguero, and there have been rumours of a rift between the Argentine and his manager.

In an interview on Spanish football show El Chiringuito de Jugones, Aguero was quick to dismiss these reports. 

“It is really good, we were very clear when we saw each other,” Aguero said of his relationship with Guardiola. “I try to do my job and he does his job. Obviously, he is always fine with me. I am happy how the season ended.

“The club is happy, and I am happy in the club. I hope to stay until the end of my contract [in 2020].”

Aguero also spoke of his regret at the manner in which he left Atletico Madrid to join City in 2011.

He scored over 100 goals in five seasons in Madrid but his Atletico career ended on a sour note when he asked to be released from his contract and told ESPN that he would not play for the club again.

“For a lot of people it was controversial, a lot of people got very angry, maybe it was not the right way to get out,” said Aguero. “I know I gave it all for Atlético.”

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Former Liverpool Player And Manager, Kenny Dalglish Has Been Knighted

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Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish has been knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours for his services to football and his charity work.

During his playing days, the Scotland legend won nine titles with Celtic, before winning three European Cup titles and six league trophies among other honours.

Dalglish then went on to win 11 titles for Liverpool as a manager, before guiding Blackburn Rovers to the Premier League title in 1994-95 season.

“Obviously it was for others with more education and knowledge than myself to decide whether or not I deserved a knighthood, and it goes without saying that I am hugely grateful to them for the decision that they have made,” said Dalglish, who also helped raise more than £10 million ($13m) to fight cancer care across Merseyside.

“All I can say from my own point of view is that I am definitely no more deserving of an accolade like this than Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley were.

“I am just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and I would like to dedicate this honour to them because without the standards that they set at Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool, individuals like myself would not have been able to thrive as much as we did.”

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Huddersfield Town Sign Terence Kongolo From Monaco For Club-record Fee

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Huddersfield have made Terence Kongolo’s loan move permanent in a club-record deal.

The Terriers have signed the Dutch defender from Monaco for an undisclosed fee that is said to exceed the £11.4m they paid to bring Steve Mounie to England from Montpellier last summer.

Terence Kongolo, who has spent the last six months at Huddersfield on loan, has signed a four-year contract at the John Smith’s Stadium.

“I’m so happy that we’ve brought Terence back as a permanent Huddersfield Town player ahead of the 2018-19 Premier League season. His signing is a big statement for this club,” said Huddersfield boss David Wagner in a statement posted on the club’s website.

“We knew he was a top, top player when we brought him in on loan in January; you don’t play for the Netherlands in a World Cup and win the Dutch league with Feyenoord otherwise.”

Kongolo made 17 appearances for the Terriers during his loan and was instrumental in their Premier League survival.

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossip This Morning

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  • Roman Abramovich has rejected an approach from Britain’s richest person, Jim Ratcliffe, to buy Chelsea.
  • Zinedine Zidane will not be taking over as France coach any time soon as Didier Deschamps will remain in the job for the rest of his contract, which runs to 2020.
  • Liverpool’s £53m move for Nabil Fekir has stalled to raise doubts about whether it will be completed before the World Cup finals.
  • Harry Kane has signed a bumper new Tottenham deal – and Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are set to follow suit.
  • Wayne Rooney has taken a giant step to his MLS move with a trip to Belfast to finalise paperwork.
  • Nabil Fekir is set to earn £140,000 a week at Liverpool, which is more than last season’s top scorer Mo Salah – for now, at least.
  • Adam Lallana has revealed his World Cup heartbreak – and insisted he will still be England’s biggest fan this summer.
  • John Stones has put his England World Cup 2018 place down to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
  • Liverpool’s £53m move for Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir is in doubt after the club hesitated on concluding the deal after his medical.
  • Arsenal agree deal to sign defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos for £16m from Borussia Dortmund.
  • Argentina have shipped three tonnes of their favourite foods to ensure Lionel Messi and co are comfortable at the World Cup.
  • Brazil captain Neymar is the best in the world, says World Cup icon Pele.
  • England should be targeting at least reaching the quarter-finals in Russia, according to the Football Association’s chief executive, Martin Glenn.
  • Crystal Palace are weighing up a move for Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong, who is going into the last year of his contract at Parkhead.
  • Rangers outcast Michael O’Halloran is poised for a shock move to Australia with Melbourne City

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Rivaldo: Messi Not An Argentina Legend Like Maradona

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Brazil legend, Rivaldo believes Messi will never be on the same par as Maradona to Argentina football fans, until he wins a World Cup.

The Barcelona star is widely seen as the best in the sport, winning 23 major honors with his club and topping the goalscoring chart for his country.

However, unlike Maradona, who won the world cup in 1986, Messi has come short. And while Rivaldo does not see it as a criteria for legendary status, he does not think the Albiceleste fans share his views.

“Well Messi is already a legend for everything he has done at Barcelona and for football,” Rivaldo told Goal during the Betfair road to Russia preview. “You can’t say anymore than that. Obviously, Argentina as a country had Maradona as their biggest star who won the World Cup.

“So maybe for Argentinians, Messi isn’t at the same level of legend as well because for the supporters of a country, it doesn’t matter what you have done for your club. Messi has won so many titles with Barcelona, the Champions League many times and La Liga.

“This is important for the supporters of the club but for the Argentinian people, it is important to win the World Cup. Of course, you can understand that because of all the football competitions the World Cup is the most important and it is the top prize.

“If you haven’t won that then people may perceive that you need to do so. I think that until Messi wins the World Cup, Argentinians won’t consider him as a legend at the same level as Maradona but I believe Messi is 100 per cent. He has done so much for club and country now.

“He is 100% now, he has got the quality and Argentina is playing well. Hopefully, he will get them to the final because maybe this is his last chance to do that. He may not be a legend for all Argentinian people but for football as a whole, he is already a legend.”

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Salah Says, Early Exit At UCL The Worst Moment Of His Career

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Mohamed  Salah has stated that leaving the Champions League final due to an injury, was the worst moment of his career, as he feared he would miss out on the World Cup.

The Liverpool star was in tears as he left the pitch in the first half, after tangling with Sergio Ramos in the 3-1 loss in Kiev.

Reflecting on what transpired against Madrid, Salah told Marca in a preview of the interview: “Leaving the final was the worst moment of my career.”

Egypt will open their World Cup Group A campaign against Uruguay on June 15.

“I began to think that I would miss the World Cup, it was devastating,” Salah said.

Egypt will also face hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia as they prepare to end their 27-year wait to compete at the World Cup.

“For us to qualify for the World Cup is almost like Spain winning the title,” Salah added.

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Daily Roundup: Latest Football News Content Across Europe

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Spain

Real Madrid will not sell Gareth Bale for less than £195m (€222m), the same figure Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar. Bale, who is set to discuss his future at the Bernabeu with his representatives, has been a club transfer target for Manchester United – and has an £877m (€1,000m) buyout clause. It seems the only way Bale will definitely leave Madrid this summer is if they land Neymar. (ABC)

Real Madrid defender Marcelo does not see a reason why Neymar should not join the club this summer, whether Cristiano Ronaldo remains at the Bernabeu or not. Speaking at a World Cup press conference, Brazil international Marcelo said: “Cristiano isn’t the boss of Real Madrid. Just because Cristiano is there, why can’t Neymar join? Neymar will always have the doors open at Real Madrid. Madrid always look for the best players. One day Neymar will play at Real Madrid.” (AS)

Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has become a transfer target for Napoli. The Netherlands international is interesting clubs in the Premier League, too, and is subject of Liverpool transfer rumours. Cillessen was back-up to Marc-André ter Stegen last season. Napoli have also considered Rui Patricio from Sporting Lisbon and Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen. (Sport)

Italy

Douglas Costa has completed a permanent move to Juventus from Bayern Munich and will stay with the Italian giants until 2022. Costa was on loan last season but now Juve have agreed £35m (€40m) deal, payable over two years – and if certain conditions are met then Bayern will receive an additional £880,000 (€1m). Costa was believed to be a Manchester United transfer target this summer. (Tuttosport)

Juventus are on the brink of announcing the signing of Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin. The Italy international has arrived for a medical at Juve’s training ground this morning and is set to sign for £10.5m (€12m) on a four-year deal. Genoa could pocket an extra €3m depending on appearances. Perin will go up against Wojciech Szczesny for a starting spot next season, following the departure of Gigi Buffon. (Corriere delloSport)

Wolverhampton Wanderers transfer target Joao Cancelo is now on the list of transfer targets for Juventus, with the player wishing to play for a club in the Champions League. Although contact has been met between his agent Jorge Mendes and Wolverhampton, Cancelo is not keen on the move. Juve, who would have to pay up £40m, are also interested in Manchester United’s Darmian. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Germany

Denmark international Thomas Delaney has completed a £20m move to Borussia Dortmund. Delaney, who was believed to be a Crystal Palace transfer target, was allowed to leave Denmark’s World Cup training camp to complete a medical and has signed a four-year contract from Werder Bremen. Delaney scored seven goals and produced seven assists last season. (Kicker)

Borussia Dortmund are keen on signing Arsenal transfer target Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria. The 22-year-old defensive midfielder still has another four years left on his contract and a £25m buyout clause. Dortmund believe they can meet that figure for Torreira, who scored four goals in 36 games last season. (Sport Bild)

Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo will be leaving Real Madrid this summer, following continued talks between his agent Jorge Mendes and the club this week. Ronaldo is not satisfied with the new contract offer and their stance over his future. Now, it’s believed Madrid are contemplating to use the money towards bringing Neymar to the Bernabeu from PSG. Manchester United, PSG and Bayern Munich are thought to be the three main options for Ronaldo. (Record)

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