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ICPC moves to arraign NFF President Pinnick, Dikko – Official

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) may arraign the President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and Shehu Dikko for alleged fraud.

Pinnick and Dikko, 2nd Vice President of the NFF, are presently being investigated by the commission over alleged FIFA grant misappropriation.

ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

NAN reports that the commission had on its twitter handle, posted that “ICPC places under investigation, mansion belonging to Amaju Pinnick, President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) located in Park View Estate, Lagos.

“The Commission has also placed a mansion in Maitama, belonging to Dikko under investigation.”

Mrs Okoduwa explained that the commission so far has reasonable suspicion that the emoluments that have been earned by the NFF officials could not have bought those houses.

“Investigating around assets probably acquired through proceeds of crime is one of the first steps in corruption investigation,” she said.

While noting that the commission was proceeding with the investigation, Mrs Okoduwa said that when completed, the press would be briefed on the details.

“Our officials have proceeded with the investigation, when they are ready, they will let me know and I will tell you people.

“We want to keep things under wraps for now so that we don’t expose too much information that will jeopardise the investigation.

“There is something about investigation, when you let out information, if for example we say this is what we are investigating against some people, those people can go and tamper with documents relating to the matter.

“In that case, the investigation will not be concluded, or take much longer to be concluded,” Okoduwa said.

On possible arraignment of the NFF officials, Okoduwa said that “they can only be arraigned after the investigation.

“Arraignment is when we are ready to go to court and we have all the facts, and if the investigation points to the direction of arraignment and they are indicted, they are real suspects, then we take them for arraignment.

“If after the investigation, they were able to prove to us that they got the houses legitimately and they are cleared of other allegations, then we don’t arraign,” Mrs Okoduwa said.

(NAN)

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Qualified countries in Euro 2020

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Six countries have already booked their spots at next year’s European Championships.

They are Belgium, Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

Belgium qualified for the finals on Thursday, with a 9-0 victory at home to minnows San Marino and Russia joined them on Sunday with victory in Cyprus.

Spain secured their place in the finals draw with a 1-1 draw in Sweden on Tuesday, while Poland beat North Macedonia 2-0 on Sunday.

With seven wins out of seven, Italy are also through.

The top two teams (20 in total) in each group qualify automatically.

Four more nations will qualify via playoffs, qualification for which is based on UEFA Nations League performance.

The draw will be held on Saturday, November 30 in Bucharest, Romania.

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Chelsea suffer six injury blow ahead of EPL clash with Newcastle

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Chelsea have suffered six injury blow ahead of their English Premier League, EPL, clash with Newcastle United this weekend.

According to Evening Standard, Mateo Kovacic and Ethan Ampadu were the latest Blues players to pick up injuries during the international break on Sunday.

Both players lined up against each other on Sunday evening as Wales played a 1-1 draw with Croatia in a Euro 2020 qualifiers encounter.

Kovacic was replaced by Barcelona midfielder, Ivan Rakitic after a strong challenge from Tottenham’s Ben Davies, while Ampadu was replaced by Bristol City’s Joe Morrell just three minutes into the second half after a hard tackle from Bruno Petkovic.

However, Chelsea defender, Andreas Christensen sustained a groin injury during Denmark’s 1-0 win over Switzerland.

Chelsea youngers, Reece James and Trevor Chalobah withdrew from the England Under-21 squad last week ahead of their matches against Slovenia and Austria due to ‘fitness concerns’.

Midfielder, N’Golo Kante picked up a groin injury in the warm-up before France’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland on Friday.

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Why I retired from international football at age 32 – Mikel Obi

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Former Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, has revealed why he retired from international football at the age of 32.

TIMELY POST recalls that Mikel Obi announced his retirement from Super Eagles following the conclusion of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Egypt.

Mikel said he retired from international football because he wanted to give chance to the younger players in the Super Eagles squad, adding that he does not have many years of football in front of him.

The former Chelsea star spoke to Trabzonspor’s weekend magazine on why he quit the Super Eagles at the age of 32 years.

Mikel said: “I served the national team for 13 years, a larger part of those years as captain. In this process, we have achieved significant successes as a team. I first wanted to leave in 2013, but as a result of our negotiations with the authorities, I decided to continue.”

“We currently have very talented young players. They’re all bright. I think these players can handle the challenges. I had to make room for them. Besides, I don’ t have many years of football in front of me. I want to focus on my team.”

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