Daily Media Summary, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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Daily Media Summary Monday 15 April 2019
Daily Media Summary

MTN Pays N235bn Fine For SIM Registration Offences – Thisday, Page 8

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said MTN Nigeria Communications Limited had paid a total of N235 billion out of the N330 billion fine it imposed on the mobile telecommunications operator in August 2015. Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, confirmed this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on the sidelines of a valedictory press briefing by the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu. Danbatta said due to the major industry dispute, Nigerians now have the opportunity to own part of the mobile telecommunications network following the public listing of the company at the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) last Thursday. The NCC boss said, “We have succeeded in empowering Nigerians to own, control and manage one of the dominant telecommunication companies in the country by MTN listing in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

Oando, Access Bank, Others Lead Fundraising For North-East Crisis – Punch, Page 27

The United Nations Nigerian Humanitarian Fund, made up of 14 private sector companies including Oando Plc and Access Bank Plc, have led the drive to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis in the North-East. The fund, which was launched in November 2018, pooled funds from the private sector and donor countries to create a more collaborative and effective response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in North-East. Some of the private companies are Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Economic Summit Group, among others. A statement on Monday said the companies were acting as advocates, proactively raising awareness of the plight of Nigerians in the North-East.

African Alliance’s Gross Premium Rose By 78% Q1 – Punch, Page 31

African Alliance Insurance Plc, has said the company’s gross premium rose by 78 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 from the corresponding period of 2018. In a statement on Monday, the Managing Director, Mrs Funmi Omo, disclosed this while speaking on its audited financial statements and 2019 targets. “African Alliance Insurance has grown strategically in the past year. In the same quarter, we paid claims worth N1.8bn as against N1.5bn in the same period last year. We are in a strong financial position, and our recent investments and decisions back this,” she stated.

SEC Probes MTN Listing On Stock Exchange – Thisday, Page 1

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the process that led to the listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Thursday, THISDAY learnt yesterday. A source said the application of the telecom firm was initially turned down by the NSE Council before it was later reconsidered, without the authorisation of SEC. The disclosure came on the heels of an earlier THISDAY report that investors on the NSE and stakeholders waiting to purchase the shares of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, through an initial public offering (IPO), might do so at a very high premium whenever the telco decides to float the IPO. This was because of the free float accommodation and some other waivers MTN Nigeria was granted by the capital market regulators to pave the way for its listing last Thursday. The source spoke amid allegations of unapproved waivers that the NSE granted MTN Nigeria to enable it to be listed on the stock exchange.

Shareholders Fume Over Huge Fines On Banks In 2018 – Guardian, Page 23

Shareholders have bemoaned the huge fines slammed on Nigerian banks by the regulatory authorities as penalty for various contraventions during the 2018 financial year. The disapproval comes as seven banks – GT Bank; Access Bank; United Bank for Africa (UBA); FBN Holdings; Sterling Bank; Fidelity Bank; and Zenith International Bank, all quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), paid about N145 million in fines to regulators in 2018 for various offences. The fines were paid to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), and the CorporateAffairs Commission (CAC). The shareholders therefore argued that these penalties impacted negatively on the bottom-line of the banks, and ultimately affected their dividend payout, and urged the regulators to work out other ways of sanctioning them. A breakdown of the fines as contained in the banks’ annual reports showed that FBN Holdings and its subsidiaries, First Bank of Nigeria, FBN Quest Merchant Bank and FBN Insurance Limited, paid the highest fine of N32.65million to the CBN during the period under review, while UBA followed with N30 million.

Fintech Revenue To Hit $638bn By 2024-Punch, Page 32

Financial technology companies are expected to generate about $638bn revenue in the next five years, a latest forecast by Juniper Research, has stated. Finding by the research showed that this would be a 143 per cent growth from estimated $263bn revenue in 2019. According to the analysts, this growth will be largely driven by increasing consumer acceptance of fintech-powered solutions. Analysts at Juniper noted that advanced technologies such as machine learning, big data analytics and blockchain would be the cornerstone of fintech platforms. In the report entitled, ‘Fintech Futures: Leading Innovators, Segment Analysis & Regional Readiness 2019-2024,’ Juniper said the technologies would fundamentally alter the way financial services were delivered and drive fintech platforms to become the ‘new normal.’ “Such technologies will make new use of cases mainstream, including smart contracts, loan underwriting using AI to analyse non-traditional data sources, and personalised insurance policies based on IoT-generated data,” the report stated.

SEC Declares ‘Loom Money’ Illegal Outfit – Guardian, Page 24

The Acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk, has raised an alarm over the activities of some internet fraudsters, who are currently running an online investment scheme tagged, ‘Loom Money Nigeria’. The illegal investment outfit is taking over the social media by targeting young people to participate in a pyramid scheme.

Uduk stated this during a press conference by the Minister of Finance held in Abuja, recently.Uduk, who was represented by the Acting Executive Commissioner, Operations of the SEC, Isyaku Tilde, warned the general investing public that the fraudsters carry out their illegitimate business activities via social media platforms like Facebook, and Whatsapp luring young Nigerians to invest as low as N1,000 and N13,000 and get as much as eight times the value of the investment in 48 hours.

Stock Market Opens Week With N221bn Gain – Punch, Page 28

The nation’s stock market opened the week with a N221bn gain on Monday as it sustained the positive momentumwitnessed since Thursday’s trading session after the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The market capitalisation of equities listed on the NSE increased from N12.717tn on Friday to N12.938tn on Monday as the All Share Index rose by 174 basis points to settle at 29,374.47 points while year-to-date return moderated to -6.5 per cent. The gains recorded were attributed to the positive performance recorded by large-cap firms such as MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc. MTN Nigeria (51.4 million units), FBN Holdings Plc (17.5 million units) and United Bank for Africa Plc (17.2 million units) were the top traded stocks by volume while MTN Nigeria (N6.2bn), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N464.5m) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (N307.8m) led the top traded stocks by value.

BDC Rates – BusinessDay, Page 1

USD 361

GBP 472

EUR 406

Stock Market Report – May 20

ALL SHARE INDEX 29,373.40

DEALS 4,644.00

VOLUME 214,420,669.00

VALUE N7,932,132,129.25

EQUITY CAP N12,937,623,210,098.46

BOND CAP ,822,598,776,391.50

ETF CAP N5,862,745,212.54

FG Invites World Leaders To Maiden June 12 Democracy Day – Punch, Page 18

The Federal Government said in Abuja on Monday that it had invited world leaders to the maiden edition of June 12 Democracy Day in Nigeria. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at a press briefing to mark the commencement of activities slated for the inauguration of the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari. The minister, however,said while Buhari would be inaugurated on May 29, the government’s Democracy Day activities would hold mostly on June 12. Nevertheless, he said the two days would still be observed as public holidays in the country. He also said despite the security concerns being raised in some quarters, the country was safe for the celebrations. The minister said the presidential inauguration on May 29 would remain low-key because Nigeria could not afford two elaborate celebrations within two weeks. He noted, “I said at a press conference at the State House on May 13, 2019 that the inauguration of President Buhari for a second term would be a low-key affair.

2019 Elections: INEC Withdraws, Reissues 25 Certificates Of Return – Punch, Page 18

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said it had so far withdrawn 25 certificates of return issued to some candidates that were earlier declared winners of the 2019 general elections. It said the withdrawal was based on court orders. The chairman of the commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed this at an event, “Forum on Media Coverage of 2019 General Elections,” held in Enugu. Okoye said 20 of the 25 certificates of return were withdrawn from candidates of the All Progressives Congress and reissued to other members of the party, while two certificates werewithdrawn from candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and reissued to other PDP members. He said the remaining three certificates were withdrawn from candidates of both the APC and the PDP, and issued to members of other political parties. “Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday; the commission had withdrawn 25 certificates of return from the first owners and presented to their new owners, following court orders to do that,” he said. Okoye lauded the journalists for their openness and robust engagement with the commission before, during and after the elections.

How Lagos Downpour Wreaked Havoc, Gridlock – Guardian, Page 1

A downpour in Lagos and its environs that lasted for about two hours yesterday wreaked havoc and paralysed business activities in the nation’s economic capital. For hours after the rain, that was preceded by a cloudy weather and darkened skyline subsided, the effect was still felt across the metropolis, and in some neighbouring communities in Ogun State. Trees on many of the major streets gave way to the wind, just as some streetlight stands, traffic light stands, telecom masts, electric poles and signages that could not withstand the storm fell on vehicles and buildings. The gridlock on major roads was nerve-racking. The rain that fell in the early hours of the day devastated buildings and vehicles, and disrupted business activities. The flood in some parts of the city left thousands of residents stranded as it made many major roads impassable and went into living homes and offices, while mass of plastics and nylons washed out from blocked drains littered the streets. The rain, which started about 8:35 a.m. and was characterised by strong winds caused destruction in Oshodi, Agege, Abule-Egba, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikeja, Ketu, Ojota, Somolu, Lagos Mainland, Oworonsoki, Oyingbo and Ebute Metta areas. Others places affected include Lagos Island, Ajegunle, Surulere, Mushin, Iganmu, Gbagada and Ikoyi.

Tinubu Meets Buhari In Saudi Arabia, Attacks PDP – Punch, Page 14

President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, met in Saudi Arabia on Monday, where the latter attacked the Peoples Democratic Party. He also urge the country’s leaders to tone down on making inflammatory statements. A Presidency statement on Monday said Buhari and Tinubu met in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, at an Iftar dinner (breaking of Ramadan fast). Others in attendance were the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, and the Emir of Kazaure, Dr Najib Hussaini-Adamu. Tinubu was quoted as saying that the PDP leaders made “saucy and distractive statements’’ because of their “colossal defeat” during the 2019 general elections. “Don’t blame them. They are handicapped by the traumatic feelings of the colossal loss of the election. “You should help them to manage the trauma,” the Presidency statement which was signed by Buhari’sSenior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, Tinubu called on Nigerians to continue to support the Buhari administration ahead of his May 29 inauguration for a second term and beyond.

NAICOM Raises Insurance Firms’ Operating Capital By 200% – Thisday, Page 7

The insurance sector regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), yesterday announced a major increase in the minimum paid-up share capital of insurance and reinsurance firms. Under the new capital regime, life insurance underwriting firms, which currently have a minimum paid up share capital of N2 billion, will compulsorily shore up their capital to N8 billion,representing a 200 percent increase. Insurance firms underwriting general business will by the new paid-up share capital regime, shore up their capital from N3 billion to N0 billion. Composite insurance firms, that is, firms underwriting both life and general business will have to raise their capital from the current N5 billion level to N18 billion. Reinsurance firms will move up from the current minimum capital of N10 billion to N20 billion. The new guidelines are coming after NAICOM’s failure in its initial bid to shore up the minimum operating capital of insurance firms through its Tier Base Minimum Solvency Capital,

EFCC: We Are Investigating Okorocha – Thisday, Page 7

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed that it is investigating the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha. The anti-graft commission has also explained that it froze N5 billion funds belonging to the state government because Okorocha was spending too much money in a suspicious manner during the general election. The Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu confirmed the investigation of the governor by the EFCC in an interview with Channels Television. Asked if an investigation is ongoing regarding the governor, he responded, “definitely”. “Of course, we are doing a couple of checks and investigations here and there. We are investigating almost everybody,” he said. He said the commission has to get to a certain level before it can disclose any information about an ongoing investigation. Magu explained that this was necessary to prevent any action that can jeopardise or interfere with the process of the inquiry. He said though he was aware of reports of the investigation on the social media, the details the anti-graft agency has is different from what is in the public space.

Nigeria’s GDP Shrinks To 2.01 Per Cent In Q1 2019 – Thisday, Page 1

Nigeria’s brittle economy slowed to 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1, 2019), according to data released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The nation’s economy, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, fell from the 2.38 per cent growth rate of the fourth quarter of 2018. The economy’s performance fell below the three per cent growth rate projected by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). However, when compared to the Q1 2018 performance, where real GDP growth rate stood at 1.89 per cent, the Q1 2019 growth represented an increase of 0.12 percentage points, the NBS said. Thesluggish GDP growth has prompted analysts, including the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, to call for a review of Nigeria’s economic management strategy. According to the statistical agency, quarter-on-quarter real GDP growth declined by -0.38 percentage points. The GDP Report Q1 2019, which was released yesterday, said aggregated GDP in nominal terms dropped -9.75 per cent to N31.79 trillion, compared to N35.23 trillion in the preceding quarter. But the nominal value is higher than in Q1 2018estimate of N28.43 trillion, representing a year-on-year nominal growth of 11.80 per cent.

NDLEA Opposes Akeredolu On Cannabis, Destroys 3,900 Hectares In Ondo – Punch, Page 6

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has said it never advocated the growth of cannabis sativa for medicinal purpose or economic gain, adding that it had destroyed 3,900 hectares of cannabis sativa in Ondo State. The NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd), stated this on Monday, noting that he and the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, did not go toThailand to learn how to grow cannabis sativa for economic gain, as being reported in some quarters. The governor was reported on Saturday as saying the state government was planning to take advantage of the commercial value of the plant to create jobs for the youth. He urged the Federal Government to support cannabis cultivation in large quantities in Ondo, saying the trade would boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue. But the NDLEA chairman said in a release on Monday that he never visited Thailand to advocate cannabis cultivation, saying Nigeria’s staunch opposition to legalising cannabis as restated at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs’ round-table talks in March 2019 still stands.

Naira Marley Remanded In Prison For Alleged Internet Fraud – Thisday, Page 9

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that Naira Marley be remanded in prison over allegations of internet fraud. The singer was arraigned in court yesterday following his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The anti-graft agency charged the singer with 11-count fraud offence to which he pleaded not guilty. The judge adjourned until May 30 for the hearing of his bail application, and ordered that he should be remanded till the next hearing. Zlatan and Tiamiu Abdulrahman Kayode; Adewunmi Adeyanju Moses; and Abubakar Musa, who were arrested alongside the ‘Japa’ singer have since been released. They were arrested for allegations of advanced fee fraud and related cybercrimes on May 10. Before his arrest, Naira Marley has been in the news recently for advocating the cause of internet fraudsters. During an Instagram live session in April, he had urged Nigerians to pray for internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) “as they are crucial to the circulation of money in the economy.” In the suit before the court, EFCC is using section 33 (2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

Police Kill One, Injure Four Over Lynched Suspected Kidnapper In Kaduna – Guardian, Page 12

Residents of Kawo community in Kaduna metropolis yesterday burnt a suspected kidnapper and staged a protest, following alleged killing of an “innocent man” by a policeman. The protesters burnt tyres after barricading the highway leading from Kaduna to Zaria and Birnin-Gwari. Trouble started when Kawo residents at about 9:00a.m. yesterday got information that there were three persons attempting to abduct some people. The residents immediately blocked roads leading in and out of the community and pursued the kidnappers, catching one of them and burning him on the spot. It was gathered that another of the suspects was captured by the police. However, following the chaos, the police intervened to disperse the mob, shooting into the air and shooting a man in the crowd in error, while three others sustained injuries.

Monarch, Retired Police Officer Nabbed For Allegedly Stealing Transformers – Punch, Page 4

The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Monday, confirmed the arrest of the traditional ruler of Ipene community in the Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State, Chief Paulinus Ogbor, and a retired police officer, identified simply as Onugh, for allegedly stealing three transformers. The spokesperson for the command, DSP Loveth Odah, told PUNCH Metro that the duo were arrested by men of the 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Calabar, at Unwana in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State on Friday, and were handed over to the police for further investigation. It was gathered that the transformers belonged to the Umuolo, Etana, Ubum, Edu, Ibini, Afono, Urugbam, Ipene and Egbor communities in the Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State. The suspects, according to an army officer, who earlier spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, hail from Ipene. They were said to have approached the army post in the area for cover on the pretext that they wanted to take the transformers to the owner in Calabar and were arrested at Unwana, while allegedly trying to move the transformers to the point of sale around 11.30pm on Friday. The suspects were taken to the headquarters of the Ebonyi State Police Command, Abakaliki, for further interrogation.

Gunmen Kidnap Twins, One Other In Ekiti, Demand N22m – Punch, Page 5

Unknown gunmen on Saturday abducted three men, including a set of twins, on the Aramoko-Efon Road in Ekiti State. The victims, Taiwo and Kehinde Olowoafara and the General Secretary of Christ’s School Alumni Association, Ado Ekiti, Mr Ayo Oladele, were said to be travelling on the road at different times. A family source, who said the abductors of the twins hadcontacted the family, said they were demanding N6m for each of their victims. The Oladele family said the gunmen had also requested N10m ransom before Ayo could regain his freedom. The victims’ families said they could not ascertain where their sons had been taken to. The notoriety of the Aramoko-Erio-Efon-Iwaraja Road as a base for armed robbers and kidnappers led to the drafting of military personnel to the area last year to comb the forest for criminals. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed that the abduction had been reported to the police and that the command was making necessary efforts to ensure that the victims regained their freedom.

Relegation Battle Goes To The Wire, Kano Pillars Pick Super 6 Ticket – Thisday, Page 39

2014 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Kano Pillars on Monday confirmed their place in the season-ending Super Six playoff with an emphatic 3-0 drubbing of Delta Force in Kano in one of the full programme of activities on the penultimate Match-day of 2018/19 regular season. Although many other matters in the league were left unresolved until the final day, Kano Pillars’ confirmation of a top three finish and Niger Tornadoes’ relegation in Group A were settled on a day of twist-and-turns in results across the twelve match centres. In Maiduguri, FC Ifeanyiubah put themselves in pole position to join Pillars and already qualified Akwa United as Group B’s representatives with a superb 1-0 win away to El-Kanemi Warriors in a game played behind closed doors. Monday’s trend of results ensured that only Yobe Desert Stars are condemned to the second tier in Group B after Gombe United, Plateau United and Go Round FC all secured results in their games, the latter denied by a last gasp goal at Nasarawa United

Eaglets Coach Hails CAF Over Guinea Disqualification – Punch, Page 47

Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba on Monday hailed the Confederation of African Football over the disqualification of Guinea for fielding over-age players at last month’s U-17 AFCON in Tanzania. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CAF had disqualified Guinea from participating in the next two editions of the U-17 AFCON and the next FIFA U-17 World Cup for fielding two ineligible players — Aboubacar Conte and Ahmed Tidiane Keita — in an AFCON U-17 game in Tanzania against Senegal in April. Guinea eliminated Nigeria in the semi-final of the competition through penalties, and Garba said the use of over-age players by Guinea prevented his team from getting to the final of the U-17 AFCON. Garba told NAN that Guinea deserved the sanctions imposed on them, adding that it would serve as a deterrent to other countries. He explained that his team lost to an over-age side that should have been penalised earlier than now. “Nigeria could have played the final against Cameroon if CAF had acted during the competition. This is a great lesson for every country to properly check players data. For Guinea they deserve it because the two players have two International Passports that have age discrepancies,” Garba said.

20 Gold Level Runners Confirmed For Okpekpe Race – Thisday, Page 39

Twenty gold level running road runners will be among the elite cast of athletes confirmed for Saturday’s 7th Okpekpe International 10km Road Race in Okpekpe near Auchi, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, organisers of the event have confirmed. Leading the cast of gold level running athletes are former Okpekpe race winners, Alex Korio and Simon Cheprotof Kenya. Korio won in 2015 edition (29.20)while Cheprot outran all his rivals the following year (29:47). Both are 27 minutes runners as they hold 27:48 (2017) and 27:41 (2014) respectively. “Just last June, Cheprot ran 27.44 at Oelde in Germany and looks like he will be aiming to become the first man to win two Okpekpe titles,” said Mercy Etukudo, head of secretariat for the first IAAF road running event in West Africa to be granted an IAAF label status. “We also have Taye Grima, one of the Ethiopians on board the Okpekpe train that will challenge the Kenyans for the title. He has done 28:33 this year (January) and looks to be among the on-form athletes who will be coming to rewrite the course record on Saturday,” Etukudo added.

Lobi Coach Ogbeide Slumps, Dies In Makurdi – Punch, Page 46

The head coach of Lobi Stars, champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League side, Solomon Ogbeide, died in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Monday. Our correspondent learnt that the veteran coach died as a result of Low Blood Pressure, which he had reportedly complained about before his death. “So sad, coach Ogbeide slumped this (Monday) morning and was rushed by Lobi officials to a private hospital in Makurdi, where he died at 2:15pm,” a source close to Ogbeide told our correspondent. Despite Ogbeide’s demise, Lobi went on to host Wikki Tourist of Bauchi in their final Group B home match of the season, which they won 2-1 and are on the verge of clinching a super-six ticket from their group.

Vice Chairman, Lobi Stars, Mike Idoko, said, “Once I get confirmation from the family, I will officially issue a statement and make it available to the press but for now, I can’t speak further.” Players, fans and the entire Aper Aku stadium were thrown into a mourning mood when news of the demise of Ogbeide filtered into the stadium after the NPFL clash between Lobi and Wikki.

Mbappe Issues PSG Ultimatum At Ligue 1 Awards – Punch, Page 45

Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe has called his future with the French champions into question after he won the National Union of Professional Footballers’ Ligue 1 Player and Young Player of the Year awards on Sunday. The France international has 32 goals and six assists from 28 matches this season and still has one final Champion at match left to prevent Barcelona’s Lionel Messi from winning the Golden Shoe by overcoming a four-goal deficit. Mbappe, still just 20, beat off competition from the likes of teammates Neymar, who was absent from the ceremony, for the senior prize – he then made an even greater stir during hisacceptance speech. “I think that it is a very important moment for me as I feel that I am approaching a first, or second, turning point in my career,” said the former Monaco man. “I have discovered a lot of things here and I feel that it is perhaps time for greater responsibility. “I hope that it will be with PSG, which would be with great pleasure, or maybe elsewhere with a new project. However, I would like to say thank you.”

Ronaldo Wants Juventus To Hire Jose Mourinho – Guardian Back Page

Juventus’ announcement that Massimiliano Allegri will leave the club in the summer came as something of a surprise. The Italian club confirmed on Friday that they will move on from Allegri, one year before his contract was due to expire. Allegri, 51, enjoyed five trophy-laden seasons in Turin. But reports of feuds with club officials – including sporting director Fabio Paratici and vice-president Pavel Nedved – led to his early exit, reports givemesport.com. The search is now on for a replacement. Allegri is backing the Old Lady to hire a “great” coach, to match the club’s status. “The name of the next coach? That I don’t know, someone needs to be on the bench, but I don’t know who,” he told Italian TV programme Striscia La Notizia, per the Mirror. “In any case they will choose a great coach because Juve is a great club.” One man currently looking for a job is, of course, Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese coach has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December.

Kroos Signs New Four-Year Real Madrid Deal – Thisday, Page 39

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has signed a four-year contract extension with the club. The new deal ties the Germany international to Madrid until 30 June, 2023.Kroos, 29, has made 233 appearances for Real Madrid, including 28 in La Liga and eight in the Champions League this season. The 2014 World Cup winner joined from Bayern Munich in 2014 and has won 11trophies during a five-year spell. He appeared in front of Real Madrid supporters at the Bernabeu Stadium at yesterday at noon.

Manchester City Win FA Cup To Seal Treble With 6-0 Demolition Of Watford –https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/

And then there were three. Or maybe even four, perhaps, if Pep Guardiola had his way and we counted the Community Shield as a major trophy, as they do in Spain with the Supercopa. Let’s call it three, the first domestic treble by any men’s team in history, and another thumping demonstration of how Manchester City have changed the landscape of English football. They turnedthis final into such a cakewalk it was difficult, long before the end, not to sympathise with the latest team to feel the full force of Pep Guardiola’s side. Guardiola had stopped celebrating the goals and, if anything, looked slightly awkward about the ordeal Watford were suffering. The only other time an FA Cup final has been won by this margin goes back to 1903 when Bury put six past Derby. City have played six ties in this season’s competition and scored 26 goals, the most by any team since 1946. And it was the biggest margin of victory in any final at Wembley.

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