FIFA has confirmed that the African Cup of Nations, originally scheduled to hold in CamerooCOVID-19n in January next year, has been rescheduled for 2022.
The tournament, FIFA said, has been pushed back 12 months due to the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the full schedule of dates will be announced at a later time.
The latest decision adds to a hectic year for global football.
Apart from the African Nations Cup, the 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, meaning other events, including the European leagues, will be heavily disrupted, with plenty of rescheduling.
Meanwhile, the world football governing body has disclosed that it is joining forces with the African Union, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to jointly address the issue of domestic violence by launching the #SafeHome campaign across the African continent.
The #SafeHome campaign was launched yesterday across Africa as part of a wider global initiative to raise awareness on domestic violence and child abuse.
The awareness videos feature nine football stars – Abel Xavier, Emmanuel Amuneke, Sarah Essam, Khalilou Fadiga, Geremi, Rabah Madjer, Lúcia Moçambique, Asisat Oshoala and Clémentine Touré.
“A number of African football stars are supporting the campaign via video awareness messages distributed on social and traditional media.
“The African Union-FIFA-CAF memorandum of understanding, which was concluded in February 2019, covers joint campaigns on topics of mutual interest and the promotion of gender equality, a key principle. Other areas of collaboration include education through football, sports integrity and safety and security at football matches,” the statement read.
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino said, “I am glad that today we can launch this campaign on the important topic of domestic violence, which is significantly exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdown conditions and movement restrictions, together with our partners, the African Union, WHO and CAF.”
Explaining the project, African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E. Amira Elfadil, said: “The African Union Commission is resolute and committed to the protection of women and girls. We recognise and align ourselves with FIFA, CAF and the World Health Organization and other stakeholders on the efforts aimed at preventing abuse and domestic-based violence through collaborative programming that links reconstruction, access to the continuum of service, addressing the underlying social norms and harmful practices that continue to perpetuate gender-based violence and inequality, as well as community awareness and empowerment. We align ourselves to leverage the popular appeal of football to raise awareness against domestic violence, particularly as stay-at-home measures in response to COVID-19 are in place.”
Court Revokes Marina’s Son’s Bail, Orders His Arrest
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday revoked the bail granted Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, and ordered his arrest for jumping bail in his trial on money laundering charges.
Justice Okon Abang also ordered that his trial on money laundering charges would proceed in absentia pending when the security agencies would be able to arrest and produce him in court.
The judge also summoned his surety, a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Umar Dangaladima, representing the Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, to appear in court to show cause why he should not forfeit the N60m bail bond which he signed for Faisal.
The order for Faisal’s arrest came barely six days after the same court, on November 18, issued a similar order against his father, Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, who is facing separate N2.1bn money laundering charges before the court.
On Monday, Justice Okon Abang, sent Maina’s surety, Senator Ali Ndume, to jail for his inability to produce the fleeing defendant in court.
Earlier on Tuesday, following the judge’s November 18 ruling, Maina’s trial held in his absence with three prosecution witnesses testifying behind him and his legal team.
At the resumed hearing of Faisal’s trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, said both the defendant and his surety had not attended court since June 24, 2020.
FG, S’South Govs, Leaders Set to Meet in Rivers Tuesday
A delegation from the Federal Government is expected to meet with Governors and leaders of the South-South geo-political zone in Government House, Port Harcourt today (Tuesday).
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, is expected to lead the presidential delegation.
A Government House source in Port Harcourt, who confirmed the meeting to our correspondent, said Gambari is on his way to Port Harcourt.
The rescheduled meeting is coming on the heels of the botched stakeholders’ forum, which angered the Southern Governor, during which the South-South Governors’ Forum, demanded an apology from the presidency.
Makinde Presents N266.6bn 2021 Budget to Assembly
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday presented a budget of N266.6bn as the 2021 budget to the state Assembly.
While presenting the budget tagged, ‘Budget of continued consolidation’ Makinde announced that 53.2 per cent of the total budget was being proposed for capital expenditure.
He said, “The 2021 budget is N12bn above the 2020 budget and this is to further drive a consolidation effort that we started this year.
“We were able to achieve 50.2 per cent of the 2020 budget implementation and you will agree with me that it was due to causes beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis that bedevilled the nation and the world at large.”
Makinde further explained that the recurrent expenditure is N136, 262,990 while the capital expenditure is N130. 381bn.
According to him, 21 per cent of the budget, amounting to N56.348 bn, is allocated to education while infrastructure is to gulp N46bn, representing 17.2per cent of the budget.
For health, a total of N13.2bn, representing 4.9per cent of the budget was set aside for the establishment of primary health centers across 351 wards in the state.
“So, it is pertinent that we appreciate the members of the state House of Assembly for their support.”