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Fifa Awarded $201m In Forfeited Funds After Corruption Probe By US Department Of Justice

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Fifa awarded $201m

Fifa will receive $201m (£146m) in forfeited funds seized during a corruption probe, the US Department of Justice has announced.

More than 50 defendants have been criminally charged since the Department of Justice unveiled its corruption probe in 2015.

Twenty-seven people and four corporate entities have pleaded guilty, with two people convicted at trial.

The repayment will begin with an initial $32.3m (£23.5m).

The money, which was seized from the bank accounts of former officials who were prosecuted for corruption, will be used by the Fifa Foundation, an independent foundation, to help finance football-related projects which, Fifa says, can “positively impact so many people across the football world, especially through youth and community programmes”.

The 2015 scandal, the biggest in the sport’s history, involved collusion between officials from the governing bodies and sports marketing executives, with fraud, bribery, racketeering and money laundering offences committed.

It led to the end of Sepp Blatter’s 17-year reign as the governing body’s president and the election of Gianni Infantino as his successor in February 2016.

Several of the defendants were ordered to forfeit assets obtained through criminal activity.

Under United States law, the Department of Justice has the authority to distribute the proceeds of forfeited assets to victims of crimes, including to the football organisations that were defrauded.

“I am delighted to see that money which was illegally siphoned out of football is now coming back to be used for its proper purposes, as it should have been in the first place,” said Infantino.

“I want to sincerely thank the US Justice authorities for their efforts in this respect, for their fast and effective approach in bringing these matters to a conclusion, and also for their trust in general.

“The truth is that, thanks to their intervention back in 2015, we have been able to fundamentally change Fifa from a toxic organisation at the time, to a highly esteemed and trusted global sports governing body.”

Jacquelyn M Kasulis, acting US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said: “Today’s announcement confirms that money stolen by corrupt soccer officials and sports marketing executives through fraud and greed will be returned to where it belongs and used to benefit the sport.

“From the start, this investigation and prosecution have been focused on bringing wrongdoers to justice and restoring ill-gotten gains to those who work for the benefit of the beautiful game.

“Our office, together with our law enforcement partners, will always work to compensate victims of crime.”

Infantino added that Fifa’s co-operation with the Department of Justice was a reflection of the “significant progress” the body had made “in terms of good governance and transparency”.

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“Today, they know that with the Fifa Foundation this money is in good hands and will serve the purpose it is intended for,” he said Infantino.

“On behalf of all future beneficiaries around the world, I would like to thank the US authorities for the trust placed in Fifa, and we will make sure that these funds are used properly and bring tangible benefits for people who really need it.”

‘Fifa will view this as a line in the sand’ – analysis

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

In authorising this massive payment to Fifa, the Department of Justice is acknowledging the world governing body was the wronged party in the scandal that shamed the game.

And while not everyone agrees with its decisions – most recently the Premier League over Fifa’s decision to extend South America’s international break – and suspicion remains over Infantino’s involvement in the European Super League talks he has since distanced himself from – Fifa is, thankfully, a different organisation now than the corrupt and discredited Sepp Blatter regime.

Fifa will view this judgement as a line in the sand and its Foundation will be responsible for distributing the money, which should benefit the game worldwide.

 

 

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World Sports

JUST IN: Manchester United Announce Ralf Rangnick As Interim Coach

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Manchester United Announce Ralf Rangnick As Interim Coach

Manchester United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager until the end of the season, subject to work visa requirements.

The 63-year-old German takes over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked on 21 November following a defeat by Watford.

Rangnick has left his role as head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the job.

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Global Sports

Jorginho Earns Chelsea Draw with Man Utd After Gifting Sancho Opener

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Jorginho Earns Chelsea Draw with Man Utd After Gifting Sancho Opener

Manchester United prepared for the arrival of interim manager Ralf Rangnick by earning a battling point against Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

United, under the caretaker charge of Michael Carrick with Rangnick’s appointment expected to be confirmed imminently, kept Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench and mounted a largely rearguard action until Jadon Sancho hit Chelsea on the break five minutes after half-time.

Sancho pounced on poor control from Jorginho to race clear and beat Edouard Mendy with a composed finish after the hosts had dominated possession.

Chelsea were stung into action and Jorginho made amends for his error when he equalised from the spot in the 69th minute after Aaron Wan-Bissaka fouled Thiago Silva.

United survived in relative comfort apart from a big late chance for Antonio Rudiger and will regard this as a welcome point in tough territory after a succession of Premier League horror shows led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.

Carrick can be satisfied

Carrick went with solidity for his first Premier League team selection after United’s recent maulings by Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City and – finally for Solskjaer – Watford.

He bolstered midfield by utilising Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic to hold Chelsea at bay and, while David de Gea was busy in the first half, there was never a feeling of siege as United dug deep to come away with a point.

The big call was keeping Ronaldo on the bench. He was introduced in the 64th minute with United leading 1-0, but had minimal impact and was straight off down the tunnel when the final whistle sounded.

United at least showed the determination and resilience that had so often been glaringly absent in the dying embers of Solskjaer’s reign although there was very little attacking intent or quality apart from the great composure shown by Sancho for his second successive goal.

It will do him the world of good as he seeks to establish himself following his £73m summer move from Borussia Dortmund.

As for Carrick, if this is his final game in charge before Rangnick comes to Old Trafford, he can be well satisfied with his brief stint at the helm, winning against Villarreal in the Champions League and getting a share of the spoils here against a Chelsea side who have looked increasingly formidable in recent weeks.

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It is a platform of sorts for Rangnick to begin his work and United will hope to continue their recovery against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Chelsea suffer frustration

Rudiger summed up Chelsea’s disappointment as he slumped to the turf at the final whistle knowing he could have been the match-winner.

The German defender saw a thunderous shot touched on to the crossbar by De Gea in the first half, but the big opportunity came with virtually the last kick of the game. He was unmarked at the far post to meet Christian Pulisic’s cross but took the instant volley and lashed his finish high over the top.

Manager Thomas Tuchel was equally agonised as he will know Chelsea did not take advantage of their overwhelming domination in parts of a game where they had 24 attempts on goal compared to United’s three.

Chelsea’s work was too hurried as they chased the winner although they were also frustrated by a United defence without suspended captain Harry Maguire.

Timo Werner is still too wayward, sending a very presentable chance well wide in the second half, but at least they have Romelu Lukaku fit again and Pulisic looked a lively threat when he came on.

This, in some ways, resembled many of Chelsea’s performances last season when they were superior, but never made the most of that advantage. Tuchel will certainly feel his side let United off the hook.

The Blues remain top but in what looks like it will be a tight title race between Tuchel’s side, Manchester City and Liverpool, they will regard this as two points dropped.

 

 

 

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Covid-19: Over 7million Vaccines To Be Received Before The Year Ends – Kuma-Aboagye

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Covid-19: GHS To Start Immunisation Exercise For Unvaccinated Citizens On Friday

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service has disclosed that the country is expecting to receive over 7 million Covid-19 vaccines before the year ends.

With this consignment, the total number of vaccines received in Ghana since the onset of the pandemic will be 20million. He said, it is now the responsibility of Ghanaians to get vaccinated.

“…more than 7.4 million doses which are supposed to come in between now and probably December. We may even get more than this and that will take us to about 20 million of vaccines that have come into the country before the end of the year. What is left for us is to take it,” Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefings on Sunday, November 28, 2021, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye mentioned that Ghana had more doses in stock as “we have received a significant number of inflows of vaccines” over the past four weeks.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye reiterated that the Food and Drugs Authority has approved five vaccines for emergency use in the country.

These five vaccines are AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik-V, and Johnson & Johnson.

According to Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, about 12.3 million doses of various vaccines types have been received.

Out of that number, about 7.1 million have been distributed with about 5.2 million doses currently in stock.

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Whilst it may seem that the country will not achieve its target of vaccinating 20million of the population before the year ends, the GHS boss said various strategies are being adopted to ensure that this target is achieved.

He disclosed that vaccination centres are being set up at strategic places to make it more convenient for the public.

“Our strategy remains the same. One is to be strategic about where all our facilities are providing vaccination. We are also going around taking the vaccine to the people. We are also doing mobile vaccination where people will go to the lorry park and see a car parked giving a vaccination.

“We are doing a campout. There are places where you can’t go and come back the same day. The team will go there, set up a camp, stay there and vaccinate the people.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye indicated that the daily vaccination numbers are soaring.

He mentioned that “we have reached about 142,000 doses a day and that is how we are going to continue to ensure that we live up to expectation.”

 

 

 

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