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Nigeria in ‘easy’ group for 2019 AFCON

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Super Eagles of Nigeria have been handed ‘easy opponents’ in group B for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will face Guinea, Madagascar, and Burundi in group B to advance to the knock out round in the summer African tournament at the Alexandria stadium.

The host nation, Egypt is drawn against DR Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe in group A.

Cote D’Ivoire who will be featuring for the 23rd time at the African showpiece in Egypt is paired against Morocco, South Africa and Namibia in group D.

Group D will also see a Cosafa derby between South Africa and Namibia.

The draw ceremony was held behind the famous Giza Pyramids on Friday night.

The 32nd Africa Cup of Nations will hold June 21 to July 19, 2019.

The six groups pairings for the 2019 AFCON:

Group A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi
Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
Group D: Morocco, Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, Namibia
Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola
Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea Bissau

Six stadiums for the groups:

Group A: Cairo Stadium

Group B: Alexandria Stadium

Group C: Air Defense Stadium (Cairo)

Group D: Al Salam Stadium (Cairo)

Group E: Suez Stadium

Group F: Ismailia Stadium

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Crime

Former UEFA President Michel Platini arrested by French police for awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar

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Former UEFA president Michel Platini has been arrested over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

French legend Platini was elected in 2007 and served as president until 2015 when he was banned by the FIFA Ethics Committee. French publication Mediapart claim Platini was taken into custody on Tuesday morning as part of the investigation into the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar.

Platini is reported to have been taken to the premises of the Anti-Corruption Office of the Judicial Police (OCLCIFF). Back in December 2010 Qatar was controversially revealed as the hosts of the 2022 World Cup, following on from Russia in 2018.

A number of people have issues have arise regarding the decision to select the peninsular Arab country, including human rights concerns and the status of homosexuality. In 2014 Platini admitted holding a secret meeting with the disgraced football official Mohamed Bin Hammam, shortly before casting his vote for Qatar.

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LMC fines Kano Pillars N8m, hands Rabiu Ali 12 match ban

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The League Management Company on Wednesday announced a number of sanctions against the Kano Pillars Football Club over Monday’s incident involving their supporters and players.

Salihu Abubakar, LMC’s Chief Operating Officer said in a statement that the sanctions were as a result of crowd disturbances and harassment of match officials.

The misdemeanour was committed by Kano Pillars’ fans and players during and after one of Match Day 4 fixtures at the Nigeria Professional Football League Championship Playoffs in Lagos.

“Kano Pillars have been fined the sum of N8 million, while their captain, Rabiu Ali, has been banned from all NPFL activities and matches for a period of 12 matches,” Abubakar said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that supporters and fans believed to belong to the Kano side had invaded the pitch, damaged perimeter fences and advertising panels.

They had also hauled objects at the VIP stands at the end of the fixture between Kano Pillars and Rangers International which ended 1-1.

LMC, in a summary jurisdiction notice, charged Kano Pillars with four breaches of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL including breaches of Rule B13.18, C9, C1.1.

Ali was charged with accosting the match referee and, in so doing, he had incited others to commit acts of violence and misconduct in breach of Rule C1.3

The notice to Ali read, “Consequently, and taking into consideration your role as the captain of the team, by which your conduct is deemed to be an aggravated breach with a view to imposing more severe sanctions pursuant to Rule C19, the LMC intends to exercise its summary jurisdiction.

“By this, LMC will impose on you the following sanction: a ban from all NPFL matches and activities for a period of 12 matches, commencing immediately”.

In the charge against Kano Pillars, the breaches covered offences such as the hauling of objects towards the field of play by some of their supporters in violation of Rule B13.18.

Kano Pillars were also charged for failing to control and ensure proper conduct of their players and officials who accosted the match referee in protest.

This constituted a breach of Rule C9.

The third charge read, “you are in breach of Rule B13.18 of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL.

“This is because on Monday, immediately after your NPFL Championship Playoff Match against Rangers International, some of your supporters encroached onto the field of play, pursuing match officials”.

The fourth count was hinged on the violent conduct of the supporters in a manner capable of bringing the league to disrepute.

This also includes injury to spectators and damage to facilities and equipment in violation of Rule C1.1.

It is an act which is punishable by virtue of B15.17 and B13.23 of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL.

For the first three breaches, the LMC fined the club N1 million for each count and N5 million for the breach of Rule C1.1.

Furthermore, the club have been ordered to play their next three home matches behind closed doors.

They also stand to forfeit three points in the new season, 2019/2020, should they be found in further breach of the charges during the duration of the new season.

The player and club are required by the rules to accept or appeal the charges and sanction in writing within 48 hours.

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Mastercard cancels advertising campaign for Neymar after rape accusation

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Mastercard has canceled an advertising campaign featuring Brazilian football star Neymar, after a woman accused him of raping her in a Paris hotel, a newspaper in Sao Paulo reported on Thursday.

The newspaper, O Estado de S.Paulo, reported on its website that Mastercard said in a statement it was suspending its use of Neymar in advertising until the situation is “cleared up’’.

Neymar denies the allegation of rape and has claimed the woman was trying to extort him.

The woman appeared on Brazilian TV on Wednesday and said the athlete did rape her.

A police report seen by Reuters over the weekend showed that a woman had accused the 27-year-old Neymar of raping her at a Paris hotel last month.

Sao Paulo police are investigating the accusation.

Following media reports on the matter, Neymar posted a long video on Instagram, in which he denied the accusations.

He claimed he was a victim of extortion, and shared WhatsApp messages he had exchanged with the alleged victim, including racy photos he had received.

That led police in Rio de Janeiro to open an investigation into whether Neymar had committed a crime by posting those intimate pictures online.

Neither a spokeswoman for Neymar nor Mastercard immediately responded to requests for comment.

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