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Indonesia Loses 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup Hosting Rights



Indonesia 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup

By Adedapo Adesanya

Indonesia has been stripped of the hosting rights of the 2023 Under-20 soccer World Cup, FIFA said on Wednesday in a statement.

The decision to stop Indonesia from the tournament scheduled to hold from May 20 to June 11 was taken after the country’s football federation said it had cancelled the draw because the governor of the largely Hindu island of Bali refused to host Israel’s team.

Protesters, who consisted of the country’s predominantly Muslim population, marched in the capital Jakarta this month, waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and demanding that Israel was not allowed to participate in the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

“FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023,” the statement said.

The statement seen by Business Post also said, “FIFA would like to underline that despite this decision, it remains committed to actively assisting the PSSI, in close cooperation and with the support of the government of President Widodo, in the transformation process of Indonesian football following the tragedy that occurred in October 2022.

“Members of the FIFA team will continue to be present in Indonesia in the coming months and will provide the required assistance to the PSSI, under the leadership of President Thohir.

“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged. Potential sanctions against the PSSI may also be decided at a later stage.

“The decision had been taken following a meeting between its President Gianni Infantino and PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir.

“Indonesia is a FIFA member, so for any international soccer matters, we have to abide by the rules.”

A new meeting between the FIFA President and the PSSI President for further discussions will be scheduled shortly, it was further revealed.

Indonesia was looking to participate in the tournament for the first time in 44 years after automatically qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup. They have not played in the tournament since 1979.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.


DAZN, Videocites Partner to Tackle Illegal Streaming, Piracy




By Adedapo Adesanya

DAZN Group, the world’s leading sports streaming service, and Videocites, a cutting-edge technology company specialising in automated content detection solutions over social media, have announced a strategic partnership to intensify Dazn’s battle against intellectual property (IP) theft and illegal social media streams of its live sports content.

The collaboration reflects their shared commitment to combating online piracy and promoting legitimate live sports streaming services and is part of Dazn’s wider campaign to protect its valuable IP.

According to a statement seen by Business Post, the ease and speed with which video can be shared on social media platforms has led to a proliferation of illegal streams of live sports content in recent years.

This will soon be history as Videocites’ powerful solution, which uses AI-driven video recognition algorithms, will enable the swift identification of unauthorised streams amidst vast amounts of user-generated content on social media platforms, even when the video has been manipulated or distorted as part of the pirates’ efforts to circumvent defence mechanisms.

Leveraging this in real-time, Videocites technology enables Dazn to remove 98 per cent of the thousands of pirated streams detected on social media within minutes, representing unprecedented efficiency and protecting the intellectual property of rights owners.

According to the Chief Technology Officer at DAZN Group, Mr Sandeep Tiku, “By swiftly removing pirated streams from social media platforms, we disrupt the viewing experience, which in turn demotivates consumers from accessing them in the future and encourages them to seek a legitimate service.

“Ultimately, this will deter intellectual property theft and maintain a fair and sustainable digital environment, safeguarding the interests of broadcasters, rights owners, and athletes. The potential upside is remarkable.”

“Personal streaming has significantly increased the scale of social piracy, which is no match to the current manual solutions,” said the co-founder and CEO of Videocites, Mr Eyal Arad.

“Videocites uses its Video-AI capabilities to combat the rising tide of social piracy with scalable, immediate, and resilient detection and enforcement. We are proud to have a valuable contribution to a leading innovative streaming platform like Dazn and support their global growth,” he added.

Videocites’ technology has consistently been recognized for its excellence, earning the prestigious “Best in Anti-Piracy” accolade from SportsPro three times in a row.

Its ground-breaking solutions, proven and trusted by notable organisations and rights owners such as the NBA, major leagues, Hollywood studios, and various OTT platforms, are a testament to its top-tier status in the industry.

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WHO, FIFA Extends Collaboration to Promote Healthy Lifestyles



promote healthy lifestyles

By Adedapo Adesanya

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the President of the world’s football governing body, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), Mr Gianni Infantino, have signed a new agreement to promote health through football.

FIFA and the global health watchdog agreed to extend their collaboration and continue to use the power of football to promote healthy lifestyles and equal access to health services worldwide.

During the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, both parties signed a four-year extension to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier sealed on October 4, 2019.

Speaking on this, the WHO chief said, “Health and football are perfect teammates. Promoting healthy lifestyles, safe stadiums, and the physical and mental benefits of physical activity are among the many health goals WHO is proud to keep scoring with FIFA for the next four years.

“WHO’s partnership with FIFA has already succeeded in sharing evidence-based messages to help people of all ages lead healthier and safer lives through the power of football and sport. WHO looks forward to continuing this journey.”

“We are proud to have signed and renewed the memorandum of understanding with the World Health Organization – we are proud to continue our relationship to pass important physical and mental health messages through our global football audience,” Mr Infantino said.

“I extend my gratitude to Dr Tedros, to his wonderful team, to everyone that helps in the healthcare sector – from doctors to nurses to healthcare professionals and health ministers – and to everyone who contributes to making our lives better,” he added.

Reflecting on the past four years, he noted, “Both Dr Tedros and I felt that in a world that is more and more divided, maybe if the World Health Organization and FIFA join forces, we can achieve something, we can have even just a little impact to make our lives a little bit better. Since 2019, we have worked together with our colleagues at the World Health Organization to try to use the impact of football that helps drive health for one and all.”

During the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, FIFA and the WHO launched the Football Unites the World campaign. Supported by Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hassan Al-Haydos, Karim Benzema, Lucy Bronze, Giulia Gwinn, Kaká, Robert Lewandowski, Carli Lloyd, Édouard Mendy and Emmanuel Petit as well as by two of the WHO’s Goodwill Ambassadors for Sport and Health, namely Alisson Becker and Didier Drogba, it illustrated football’s unrivalled ability to bring people together.

The support of the Qatar Ministry of Public Health, FIFA and the WHO collaborated on a number of initiatives to promote the importance of access to physical and mental health for all.

Since 2020, the two organisations have joined forces on various digital campaigns and initiatives to address a range of health-related issues. These include (#ReachOut) for domestic violence (#SafeHome), an appreciation of the work of health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic (#HumanitysHeroes), equitable access to vaccinations and vaccines, diagnostics, oxygen and other life-saving tools (#ACTogether) and “Pass the message to kick out coronavirus campaign”, where FIFA Legends called on people around the world to take five steps to stop the spread of the disease.

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Manchester City Win Third Straight League Title As Arsenal Slip



Manchester City

By Adedapo Adesanya

Manchester City have won the Premier League title for the third season in a row after Arsenal were defeated 1-0 by Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.

This made it the fifth time in the past six seasons that the Blue Side of Manchester have secured the top spot under Pep Guardiola.

It is the first trophy of a potential treble, with Manchester United to play in the FA Cup final next month and a Champions League final against Internazionale (Inter Milan) in three weeks’ time.

Manchester City have three matches remaining, starting with Chelsea’s visit to the Etihad on Sunday, before trips to Brighton and Brentford next week.

Former City goalkeeper Alex Williams, who retires after 33 years working for the club, will hand the trophy to club captain, Ilkay Gündogan, after the match with Chelsea.

In mid-January, Arsenal had an eight-point lead over City but Guardiola’s side have overhauled them with three games to spare. Manchester City did this by not dropping a single point in their last 11 matches in the league.

Meanwhile, the Gunners have collected maximum points in just two of their past eight games after holding the premier spot for most of the season.

The new champions have been ruthless since mid-February, a period which saw them sweep aside Arsenal home and away to increase the pressure on Mikel Arteta’s side.

With this triumph, Pep Guardiola is now joint third with Sir Matt Busby and Tom Watson for league triumphs; only Sir Alex Ferguson, Bob Paisley and George Ramsey have won more.

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