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FIFA ban CAF president Ahmad Ahmad for five years over corruption



Ahmad Ahmad, the embattled president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has been banned for five years over financial misconduct.

The ban was announced during his campaign to be re-elected for four more years as the head of African soccer.

The FIFA ethics committee found “Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”

Ahmad, a former government official in Madagascar, was also fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($220,000).

His first four-year term was rocked with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo.

The 60-year-old was detained by French authorities in Paris on the eve of the Women’s World Cup for questioning about a CAF equipment deal with a company that appeared to have little connection with soccer.

“The investigation into Mr. Ahmad’s conduct in his position as CAF President during the period from 2017 to 2019 concerned various CAF-related governance issues, including the organization and financing of an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, his involvement in CAF’s dealings with the sports equipment company Tactical Steel and other activities,” FIFA said in a statement.

An audit of CAF finances pointed to irregularities under Ahmad’s leadership. The report was ordered by FIFA while it effectively took over running the organization for six months.

CAF appeared to pay about $100,000 for 18 people, including Ahmad and the heads of some of the continent’s 54 national member federations, to travel on the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The CAF election is scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.

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Havertz in contention to feature, Silva returns – Predicted Chelsea lineups against Rennes



Talisman Kai Havertz is back fit and contention for feature, while Thiago Silva should start as Frank Lampard’s side gear up to take on Rennes in the Uefa Champions League.

Chelsea will be looking to take a step closer towards qualifying for the knockout stages of the Uefa Champions League when they take on Ligue 1 side Rennes at Roazhom Park stadium on Tuesday evening.

And head coach Frank Lampard has been treated with positive news heading into the game as blockbuster summer signing Kai Havertz is fit and ready to return to action after having been sidelined for the last few games due to a positive coronavirus test.

Speaking ahead of encounter with Ligue 1 side, Lampard said: ‘I hope he is available. He’s been in for a few days now doing some individual work and he’s looked pretty good.’

The Blues added that both Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva will be travelling to France for their clash with Rennes: ‘Kai and Thiago both travel and they are fit for selection,’ he claimed.

Silva, who has been rested for the weekend clash against Newcastle United, excepted to walk right back into starting XI, replacing Antonio Rudiger. Kurt Zouma ought to be his partner at the hearts of the Blues defence against Rennes tonight.

There could be changes in the full-back slots, though, with Ben Chilwell and Reece James set to make way for Emerson Palmieri and Cesar Azipilicueta. This back-line will provide cover to Edouard Mendy, who returns to his former club mere months after making the move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

With a crunch game in the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur lined up at the weekend, Frank Lampard might also look to protect powerful central midfielder N’Golo Kante, who was heavily involved during the international break with France. This could pave the way for Jorginho to return to the starting lineup on Tuesday evening.

While Havertz is in contention for selection, it is unlikely that he will be thrust right back in by the manager. So, the remaining two slots in the centre of the park are likely to be occupied by Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic once again.

The Blues boss was also confirmed his side once again be without Christian Pulisic, as he is still working towards regarding full fitness.

He said: ‘Christian stays back and doesn’t travel but the good news he has had good progression in the last week. The reason he is staying back is to get some physical work in to hopefully have him ready for selection for this weekend and onwards’.

With Pulisic unavailable and the form that the front three of Hakim Ziyech, Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner have been in, Frank Lampard ought to stick with the same attacking trident against Rennes, with Olivier Giroud and Callum Hudson-Odoi starting on the bench.

Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Emerson; Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic slams EA Sports for using his ‘name and face in FIFA 21 without his knowledge or permission’



39-year-old AC Milan star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken to social media to vent at EA sports, makers of the FIFA 21 game franchise, alleging his image was included in the hugely popular video game without his permission.

According to Zlatan he is not a member of FIFpro, the professional body that all professional footballers belong too, and someone is making money off him without his knowledge.

On Monday night, Zlatan made a social media rant saying it is “time to investigate”.

“Who gave FIFA EA Sport permission to use my name and face? @FIFPro?” he wrote on Twitter.

“I’m not aware to be a member of Fifpro and if I am I was put there without any real knowledge through some weird maneuver.

“And for sure I never allowed @FIFAcom or Fifpro to make money using me.

“Somebody is making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years. Time to investigate”

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Watch Video: Kai Havertz, Pulisic and Thiago Silva leads Chelsea final preparations ahead of Rennes



Chelsea attackers duo Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic return to full training as Frank Lampard’s men made final preparations ahead of their Uefa Champions League clash against Ligue 1 side Rennes tonight.

The Blues players were back out on the grass at Cobham training based on Monday morning following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United, with the focus now turning towards Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Rennes.

Frank Lampard’s men will play away to Ligue 1 side Rennes at Roazhon Park on Tuesday, looking to extend their momentum run form by getting another victory and make their unbeaten run in all competitions to ten.

And with Lampard’s men prepared for the clash, Christian Pulisic, who suffered an hamstring injury before the international break, return to full training.

The 22-year-old attacking midfielder looked sharp at Cobham training base and could be a pushing for a return to action as soon as possible.

According to Lampard, the attacking midfielder will not travel to France with the rest of his team-mates as the Chelsea manager remains cautious about the winger’s hamstring recovery.

Kai Havertz, who tested positive for Coronavirus before the international break, completing his isolation period since last weekend and was appeared at Cobham with his team-mates in their final preparations.

Thiago Silva, who missed Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United was also involved at Cobham training base and is excepted to return to action for Frank Lampard’s men to continues secure their back-line option.

Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham, who are leads Chelsea attacking lineup during weekend encounter with Newcastle United, are also among Blues players that involved at Cobham training base.

Chelsea are currently sit at the top of Group E with seven points from three games and could secure a spot in the finals if the results go their way tonight.

But Frank Lampard refused to get carried away and urged his players to remain focused on continuing their form.

‘We are in a decent position, but the minute we drop levels or don’t prepare right it will change,’ the manager told the reporters in his pre-match press conference on Monday morning.

‘Rennes are a very accomplished team, we found that out at the Bridge, and I have a lot of respect for them.’

He also pointed out that his team will still have to play an away game against Sevilla and a loss against Rennes could make things difficult in the last two matches.

‘We have to respect this game, and we have to keep focusing on ourselves to keep that form going,’ he added.

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