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Woods Climbs to World No. 6 as Johnson Retakes Top Spot (See Full List)

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Tiger Woods continued his stunning rise up the world rankings on Monday by officially returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2014 after his dramatic fifth Master’s win.

The 43-year-old climbed six spots to sixth after a one-shot victory at Augusta National which crowned one of the greatest comeback stories in sport with a first major title since the 2008 US Open.

Woods’ next target may be a return to the top of the rankings, where he spent a record 683 weeks between 1997 and 2014, including 281 consecutively.

He was ranked outside the top 1,000 in November 2017 when he embarked on his comeback from fourth back surgery, but now has the top five of Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in his sights.

Johnson reclaimed the world number one ranking from Rose just a week after losing it to the Englishman, thanks to his tied-second finish behind Woods as Rose missed the Masters cut for the first time in his career.

Koepka jumped back above McIlroy to third despite narrowly missing out on a fourth major title in just seven attempts.

Xander Schauffele, the other runner-up in Georgia, moved up one place to ninth.

World top 20

1. Dustin Johnson (USA) 10.01 average pts (+1)

2. Justin Rose (ENG) 9.20 (-1)

3. Brooks Koepka (USA) 8.96 (+1)

4. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 8.32 (-1)

5. Justin Thomas (USA) 8.04

6. Tiger Woods (USA) 7.74 (+6)

7. Francesco Molinari (ITA) 7.43

8. Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 7.24 (-2)

9. Xander Schauffele (USA) 6.56 (+1)

10. Rickie Fowler (USA) 6.00 (-1)

11. Jon Rahm (ESP) 5.98 (-3)

12. Paul Casey (ENG) 5.40 (-1)

13. Jason Day (AUS) 5.23 (+1)

14. Tony Finau (USA) 5.15 (+1)

15. Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 5.02 (-2)

16. Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.87

17. Bubba Watson (USA) 4.60

18. Patrick Cantlay (USA) 4.36 (+3)

19. Patrick Reed (USA) 4.35 (-1)

20. Webb Simpson (USA) 4.22 (+3)

(AFP)

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Just In: Man City Free to Participate in Champions League, Says CAS

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Manchester City will be free to play Champions League football next season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport lifted a two-season ban from European competitions imposed by UEFA on Monday

An initial fine of 30 million euros ($34 million, £27 million) was also reduced to 10 million euros on appeal.

City were accused of deliberately inflating the value of income from sponsors with links to the Abu Dhabi United Group, also owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour, to avoid falling foul of financial fair play regulations between 2012 and 2016.

The case against City was reopened when German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of leaked emails in 2018.

However, CAS found that “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred”.

City welcomed the decision that will have huge ramifications on the club’s finances and potentially the future of manager Pep Guardiola and star players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present,” City said in a statement.

“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”

Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover 12 years ago, City’s fortunes have been transformed from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years among 11 major trophies.

On Saturday, they secured qualification for the Champions League for a 10th consecutive season with a 5-0 win at Brighton.

More silverware could come before the end of the season as Guardiola’s side face Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday before restarting their Champions League campaign in August, holding a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid from the first leg of their last 16 tie.

City’s victory in court will raise fresh questions over how effectively UEFA can police FFP.

But European football’s governing body said it remained committed to the system which limits clubs to not losing more than 30 million euros, with exceptions for some costs such as youth development and women’s teams, over a three-year period.

“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations,” UEFA said in a statement.

“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.”

(AFP)

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Buhari Approves Suspension of Ex-EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the boss of the country’s anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu days after he appeared at an investigative panel.

The Nigerian Government said Magu’s suspension is to “allow for unhindered inquiry” by the panel investigating allegations of corruption against the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, should take charge and oversee the activities of the Commission pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regards,” Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said in a statement on Friday.

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COVID-19: Fresh Lockdown Likely After Two Weeks – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday lamented the increasing rate of COVID-19 cases among people in government, saying it was directly impacting on governance and security in the country.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who stated this at the task force press briefing in Abuja, also said the possibility of ordering a fresh total lockdown to curtail further spread of the virus could not be ruled out.

The SGF, who advised prominent Nigerians to take COVID-19 protocols seriously, said the virus does not respect status.

Mustapha’s warning came amid rising cases of COVID-19 among state governors and other prominent Nigerians.  Recently state governors, including David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and their Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi  Akeredolu, contracted the virus.

Warning people in authority, the SGF said,  “Of recent, we have witnessed a high rate of positive cases especially among people in authority. This has a direct impact on governance and security of our nation. We urge that vigilance and care should be exhibited by all Nigerians, irrespective of status. This virus does not discriminate and the PTF shall keep sustaining its sensitisation messaging.”

When asked if the task force would be considering a fresh lockdown in the face of what it observed as disregard for guidelines, Mustapha said events of coming weeks would determine the next line of action.

He said, “We will not speculate on what will happen in future but we will protect the lives of Nigerians.

“To achieve that, if it means to lock down again, we will not shy away from that responsibility. We will recommend to the President who will look at the report and take a decision on our recommendation. What happens in the next two three weeks will determine what we will do.”

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