By Adedapo Adesanya
There will be no Ballon d’Or winner in 2020 as the award has been cancelled for this year because of the disruption in football competitions by the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers of the prestigious Golden Ball award have always honoured the best football player on the planet since 1956. The cancellation of the 2020 edition will be the first in 64 years.
The Ballon d’Or award honours the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year, based on voting by football journalists, club coaches and captains.
The prestigious award, which has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the last 11 years, will be halted this year due to the “lack of sufficient fair conditions”.
France Football, the French news magazine, which gives out the prize, said that the decision was taken because it would not be right to pick out a leading performer given the circumstances in which professional sport is currently being played out.
France’s Ligue 1 was the most high-profile division in Europe to cancel the remainder of its campaign due to coronavirus, with the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga all resuming after a three-month break.
According to the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Mr Pascal Ferre, in a statement, “For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or will take a break.
“There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot -and should not- be treated as an ordinary one.
“From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge; without forgetting that the other games were played – or will be played – in unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).”
“Finally, the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation: all the award seekers will not be in the same boat, some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison? To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options.
“This decision, which was taken of course with all the Group stakeholders, does not delight us but it seems to be the most responsible one. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.
“The Ballon d’Or will gather again the football big family and enthusiasts in 2021, to relive the happiness that surrounds the ceremonies as we have experienced them in recent years,” he said.
FIFA, African Union Launch Football Competition for Schools
By Adedapo Adesanya
The world football governing body, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), and the African Union (AU) have agreed to launch a school football competition across Africa.
This followed a meeting in Kinshasa between FIFA President, Mr Gianni Infantino, and the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr Félix Tshisekedi, who is also the current Chairperson of the AU.
The two presidents, who had initiated discussions last week by videoconference, met at the Palais de la Nation in the DRC’s capital to further their productive talks of the previous days.
Following their exchanges, both parties agreed that there was the need to use the power of football to improve lives and to harness the possibilities it offers to instil positive values in young people.
On this subject, both the FIFA President and the AU Chairperson agreed to use the framework of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the AU, FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), to organise schools football competition across Africa, which will kick off in the country.
To initiate the project, a protocol was signed on Sunday between FIFA and the Ministry of Sports and Leisure of the DRC.
Speaking on the development, Mr Infantino said, “President Tshisekedi is passionate about football, and I’m delighted that we can work together to give hope to all children across Africa thanks to football.
“Together, FIFA, AU, CAF and our member associations will develop competitions and training for the youth through football, because football is more than a sport, it is a school of life. Through football, you can teach respect for adversaries and rules, learning how to play as a team, how to win and lose.
“With this schools championship, we plan to make these values, which are already strong in Africa, even stronger.”
Subsequently, the FIFA President also had the opportunity to visit the offices of the Congo DR Football Association (FECOFA) and to meet with FECOFA President Constant Omari, the FECOFA executive committee and several representatives of the football community of Congo DR.
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Odds are like price tags. You will find different prices for the same product in different shops. It is generally a good idea to learn a bit about how odds work and how to use them to your benefit. Once you know this, the next step is to find the best possible odds on the web to bet and win.
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Last but not least, you would want to know whether a website is mobile-friendly. We lead busy lives, so you might not always be in front of the monitor at home to place a bet on a game. This is why it’s important to know who gives you comfortable access to mobile betting. There are added perks like watching live games on your mobile via their streaming service. It’s an option worth considering on its own – especially for Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga football matches.
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Securing a regular income from betting on sports events online is tricky but not impossible. You just need to make sure that you are playing on the right sports betting website and using the right strategy.
To cap the information above, make sure you play on trusted (licensed) betting websites, make sure they offer good bonuses that can be claimed in a reasonable manner, consider how good their odds are compared to other sports betting providers, and, lastly, fiddle around with their mobile app to check its quality. Once you are in the right place, you’ll be watching and betting on sports like never before.
FIFA Clears Four Candidates for CAF Presidency
By Adedapo Adesanya
The world football governing body, the Federation of the International Football Association (FIFA), has cleared all four candidates to contest the presidential elections of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) scheduled for March 12, 2021.
The candidates are Augustin Senghor of Senegal, Jacques Anouma from Cote D’ivoire; Ahmad Ould Yahya from Mauritania, and Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe from South Africa.
Earlier this month, CAF had said that Motsepe and Yahya’s candidacy needed “further checks” before they could run.
CAF, however, then moved to say that FIFA would step in to determine the candidates’ eligibility because the CAF president automatically becomes a vice-president.
In a statement, CAF said, “The Governance Committee of CAF shall submit, to the FIFA Review Committee, which will perform the eligibility check of the candidatures received for the position of CAF president, considering that CAF President is ex officio FIFA vice-president.”
The previous CAF president, Mr Ahmad Ahmad, had already been deemed ineligible to run in the elections. He has been banned for five years by FIFA from all football-related activity for financial misconduct. The Malagasy is appealing his ban at the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS).
The CAF elections will be held in March in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.
Nigeria has reportedly opted to throw her weight behind South African Patrice Motsepe to become the next president of the regional body.
According to stakeholders, after the scandal-ridden regime of the former president, the new man at the helm must have the “moral integrity” to commit the development of football on the continent.
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Tuchel to Replace Lampard After Chelsea Sack
By Adedapo Adesanya
Following the sack of Chelsea Football Club coach, Frank Lampard, on Monday due to poor performance, he is set to be replaced by a German coach, Thomas Tuchel.
Mr Lampard was sacked after 18 months on the job on Monday, which Chelsea said was caused by his failure to meet expectations.
In a statement, the club said “results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement”.
Tuchel, who left Paris Saint-Germain in December and previously managed Borussia Dortmund, will sign an 18-month contract to be Chelsea’s next head coach, with an option to extend for a further 12 months.
According to British media, plans are underway to appoint him before the club’s next game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday.
Lampard, who is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, enjoyed a good first season as the Blues boss, taking them to the FA Cup final and securing qualification for the Champions League.
However, the road has not been smooth after being given more than £200 million to spend on new players in the summer.
Currently, Chelsea find themselves ninth on the Premier League table after 19 games, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and five points off Liverpool in fourth.
Lampard’s last Premier League game in charge of Chelsea was a 2-0 defeat at Leicester City. He had taken the six-time English champions on a 17-game unbeaten run but away defeats to Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal and Leicester and a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City have cost him his job.
Tuchel, who took PSG to the UEFA Champions League final last season, was sacked and replaced by former Tottenham Hotspur coach, Mauricio Pochettino.
Chelsea Sack Lampard Despite FA Cup Win
By Dipo Olowookere
The tenure of Chelsea Football Club legend, Frank Lampard, at the Stamford Bridge as Head Coach of the team has ended as he has been sacked by the club.
Lampard, who spent more than 12 years at the London football outfit from 2001 to 2014, played as a midfielder and made 429 appearances, scoring 147 goals.
He returned to the club as manager in 2019 after he left Derby County.
However, he has struggled to guide his team to the glory days of when he was there as a player and his run of poor forms could no longer be accepted by the management, resulting in his sacking on Monday as confirmed in a statement on Chelsea’s website.
The owner of the club, Mr Roman Abramovich, described the decision to remove Lampard as manager of the team as “very difficult” especially because of the respect he has for the club legend.
However, he emphasised that allowing another person to manage the team was the best decision for all parties, thanking the former England international for his work ethics and efforts for Chelsea.
The Russian billionaire wished Lampard success in his future endeavours, stressing that the erstwhile coach, who he called “a man of great integrity”, will remain “an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished [and] will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
The sacking of Lampard came barely 24 hours after the team won their FA Cup tie with Luton by 3-1. His removal had been expected since he started to struggle to win games, leaving the club on the 9th position on the Premier League table despite spending over £200 million last summer to bring some players to the Bridge, including Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
Meanwhile, former PSG manager, Thomas Tuchel, has been tipped to take charge of the West London club after the exit of Lampard.
The German was sacked by the French side just a month ago. He is highly experienced and had previously managed Borussia Dortmund for two seasons and won the Germany Cup in 2017.
Read the full statement below;
Chelsea Football Club have today parted company with Head Coach Frank Lampard.
This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly.
We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration, it was decided a change is needed now to give the Club time to improve performances and results this season.
Roman Abramovich said,
“This was a very difficult decision for the Club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
“On behalf of everyone at the Club, the Board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
The Club will be making no further comment until such time as a new Head Coach is appointed.
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