Leading European football club Barcelona has promised to give its star player Lionel Messi legal and financial support, as the Argentine international considers whether to sue after he was linked to the Panama Papers leak.
The papers -- released Sunday -- implicate several high-ranking government officials, including a member of FIFA's ethics committee as well as a number of prominent sport stars.
The more-than 11 million documents, which date back four decades, are allegedly connected to Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which published the 2.6 terabytes of leaked data, reports that the firm helped establish secret shell companies and offshore accounts for global power players.
CNN is unable to independently verify the reports and is seeking comment from the most prominent figures mentioned. They are spread across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
While owning an offshore account is not necessarily illegal, El Confidencial reports Messi, who is widely considered to be the world's best player, set up "a tax fraud network" by using Panama company Mega Star Enterprises to avoid paying tax on image rights deals. The Madrid-based newspaper was part of the ICIJ investigative team.
Documents posted online by the Spanish newspaper show both the signatures of Messi and his father, Jorge, in acquiring Mega Star.
Messi has been key to Barcelona's success over the past decade, and the club was quick to express its backing for its leading player.
"Since the very first moment that the 'Panama Papers' which accuse Leo Messi were released, FC Barcelona has sent its affection and support to the player and to his whole family," said Barcelona in a statement released Monday.
"The club makes all of its judicial means, fiscal and administrative, at the family's disposal in order to make his actions and honor clear in this case."
The Marc-Vivien Foe prize awarded to the best African Player in the french Ligue 1 would be held in May, but ahead of that event, the list of nominees have been released.
The list is dominated by 5 midfielders, two defenders are named, three forwards and the only goalkeeper being Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama.
Ivory Coast’s Serge Aurier, who was suspended by league champions Paris Saint Germain, following racist allegations he made against his colleagues is also listed along with Senegal’s Moustapha Bayal Sall of As Saint-Etienne.
Ghanaian Abdul Majeed Waris together with Cameroonian Benjamin Moukandjo – top African scorers in Ligue 1 with 12 goals – and Malian Cheick Diabaté are the listed forwards gunning for the award.
The nominees who are midfielders include Floyd Ayité (Togo / SC Bastia), Ryad Boudebouz (Algeria / Montpellier), Sofiane Boufal (Morocco / Lille), Rachid Ghezzal (Algeria / Olympique Lyonnais), Cheikh Ndoye (Senegal / SCO Angers).
About the Marc-Vivien Foe Award
Since 2009, the Marc-Vivien Foe prize has been awarded to the best African player playing in the Ligue 1. This award was created by RFI and now presented jointly with France 24 reward one of 110 African players who plays in France.
The 11-man shortlist was prepared by editors of Sports RFI and France 24. It will susbequently be submitted to a jury composed of 80 journalists at the end of the Ligue 1 season.
As in previous editions, the jury will choose three names and assign five points in the first, three in the second and third point. The player with the most points thus succeed André Ayew Ghanaian international who now plays in England.
Some go green with envy seeing her cover the Black Stars while others crave for a chance to travel the world recording people and events as she does in her photojournalism work but the tale of Senyuiedzorm Awusi Adadevoh is intriguing, remarkable as much as it’s fascinating.
When this writer caught up with her for a candid interview at her estate home at Adentan, Senyuiedzorm Ewe for favourable destiny or good fortune, watermarking pictures for onward transmission to the Ghana Football Association, she was in a good mood to bare her soul out even if for a brief moment.
For one who handles huge cameras while working, I asked if she always knew she would be a photojournalist. The 30 something year old damsel responded “I developed interest in photography as a child since my dad bought me my first camera but seeing an elderly photographer ride a bicycle to our house to snap us pictures on Sundays wasn’t an encouraging sight given my younger dad who was into real estate had a car.
“As a child I wanted to be a videographer but I come from an industrial home where lawyers and judges abound and it was trumpeted to us that you must own a business, to be a property owner so I loved pictures but also sought to make money from it” she added.
According to Senyuie, by age 14 she came across a book ‘Dazzle’ which had picture stories touching on food, automobile and social events but it would be the pictures regarding food which exposed her to specialties involving photography for she became enchanted with the food shots regarding the golden chicken and others savories.
She also recounted being an introvert growing up and speaking little so she found a way to show her mum the misdeeds of her helps while she was away with photographs she took quietly and loved the instant impact when the pictures were developed.
“After my Senior Secondary School days at Aburi Girls, it became clear to me no would pay GH¢1000 for photos so I opted for videography which people relatively respected but even with that I leaked a lot of cash because even though I had made payments the light man would not show up, the director would be late all because I was tiny in both structure and age.
“I was generating programmes to be shown on TV stations but after a meet with TV directors my proposals were rejected but I would see variations on the same TV channel the next time” the rebel who chose a different path from the family business recounted.
According to the Black Stars photojournalist, in 2000 an auntie contracted her to cover the birthday party of her child as the professional set to do the gig failed to show up. “When I charged GH¢550.00 and she paid without qualms, I knew there was a future with the job.”
But the major breakthrough of this lovely lady with an infectious smile would come in 2005 during the charity match for Chelsea and France football icon Marcel Desailly at the Accra Sports Stadium. Upon appearing on the pitch to take shots, other photojournalists jeered, mocked or made irritating gestures aimed at reminding her she had no place there.
“Although they might not know it, I remain eternally grateful to three persons whose acts of kindness made me have self believe that my work was appreciated. It was Jerry Kwame Ackah Yensu who either was the organizer or part of the organizers who met me at the entrance and helped me with my bag onto the pitch and asked that I feel free to shoot. Another person who came in handy was Yaw Ampofo Ankrah who was near me on the pitch who passed a bottle of water to me and made me realize he would later check out my shots when he interjected with statements like (nice tackle, I trust you got it) and Tony Baffoe who came on to pitch to congratulate me adding he could see I was focused on the action.”
According to the Daavi, as she is fondly called by some of the Black Stars players, it was from this point onwards that she started getting detached from covering social events more so when at wedding receptions, she kept hearing nasty talk about the couples from supposed friends and relations who had just smiled and hugged them taking pictures.
“In contrast, the sports events are action packed as well as focused on the task at hand and reveal for the most part true emotions. When a boxer knocks an opponent and blood splashes, when a player receives a crunchy tackle the pain is real and when there is victory the joy is palpable.”
As is often the case, a good number of people do not make assessments based on materials before them and so it was that when Senyuiedzorm on one of the days presented another proposal to a TV director to have a spot on TV for her show, she was asked which school trained her disregarding the document at hand.
“I decided to enroll myself in school once again. At that time, the Ghana Institute of Journalism’s lesson time was not favourable but luckily my aunt Mrs. Chinery Hesse urged me on to enroll at Kojo Yankah’s school then African Institute of Journalism (AIJC) now African University College of Communications (AUCC).”
In 2005, Senyuiedzorm enrolled in AIJC and came out two years later bearing a Diploma in Communication Studies certificate. She had trained in Management Study at GIMPA obtaining a Certificate in Administration and Management in 2003 and was trained as a Computer Programmer to become a certified engineer obtaining a City and Guilds Technician Diploma in Computer Programming in 2000-2002.
“After 2005, I enrolled in a couple of schools but dropped out because I realized the schools were about theories having little regard for practical training. I eventually decided to train under veteran and acclaimed photographers including Henri whose done sports photojournalism over 30 years and whom I met in 2008.
“Of the 800 pictures I submitted for marking he only picked 100 but after a while when I submitted new work, he was delighted exclaiming “you want to compete with your professor ei” it was there I knew I had arrived” the award winning camera lady professed.
Another way of honing her shills is to befriend people in the arts like Nii Quartey who advised that since she sought for her works to be globally appreciated, there was need to subscribe to global journals and magazines keenly analyzing the amount of light in a shot, composition of images and the concept of the shots. Annie Leibovitz is one whose work she keenly follows.
According to Awusi, there is need to build the foundation when pursuing the arts contending that art is spiritual adding “not everyone loves to pass on knowledge, not everyone is gifted in teaching and for those gifted not everyone has the will power to transfer so in some cases you observe and pick what you can.”
The one school she would love to enroll in is the Hallmark Institute of Photography where the intro letter alone sets the tone ‘we are not here to teach you history of photography’ sounding the alarm that practical training is the pillar of the school.
Interestingly enough although her photos have been used by many, “It was when Citi FM’s tracker team used some of my photos of the Ghana-Mozambique qualifier in Maputo in underscoring the 4-4-3 system so effectively that I had an orgasm. That is the thrill that keeps me going even when challenges arise” Daavi disclosed.
According to Senyuiedzorm, she has been a professional photographer for 16 years and has been doing sports photography for 11 years adding there was need for people to be careful how they conduct themselves because words could kill or dampen careers.
Being a business minded person, the brain behind Images Image, Sportsunlimited.com and Senyuiedzorm.com has had her fair share of investment losses.
She narrates “I went in for a credit facility using my cameras and other gadgets as collateral since I didn’t want to over burden my parents who have pumped huge cash over the years in my photography journey. Sadly the business fell apart and the bank seized my gadgets so for several months I was without any camera but I shrewdly didn’t mention this to others rather I lobbied for contracts, got them and then hired gadgets from the U.K executed jobs and sent them back so that if I charged $3,500, at the end of the day I made something like $400 which was better than nothing. Eventually I raised enough money to acquire new gadgets.”
According to the jolly Senyuie, she cuts off melancholic people as she easily pick vibes from those around her adding she is uncomfortable with people saying they want to be like her since everyone has his or her journey to undertake leading to self-discovery.
Asked what her worst experience has been, the acclaimed photojournalist opined “what really gets to me is not a loss but being one who has good intuition, inherited from my dad, to have a foreboding and ignore it for the thing to happen really affects me.
“When my gadgets went missing in Equatorial Guinea during the AFCON, the worst feeling was that I had a foreboding 7 times that such a thing would happen but I didn’t heed the warning. I am grateful to the concern and love shown by the players, president and technical staff which eventually led to the items being retrieved at the police station.”
Senyuiedzorm is aware she can’t afford to slack for her failure could impede the advancement of other females who might want to take photojournalism as their core work.
Due to her frequent travels, the lady on a mission affirms she has one assistant who helps out but also has standby professionals who are contracted to undertake roles when a gig is secured.
A firm believer that there is a supreme being who directs the affairs of man, Senyuedzorm observes that the more she travels the more she acknowledges such truth. Although born into a Presbyterian home, Miss Adadevoh holds Pastor Mensa Otabil’s axiom that ‘nobody can imprison your power of imagination’ enabling her to fellowship with other bodies and tap into the wisdom they have to offer.
“I had accreditation to cover the Beijing Olympics but upon arrival realized that at the LOC office many journalists were in distress, upon enquiries it soon emerged that she also had a pass just to shoot in the town not at the games village and hosting venue. Thankfully on the second day of trying to correct the anomaly while many of the journalists from different countries had tried and failed to get a pass for the main event, a Chinese man emerged who opted to give me an email address to make a petition only to letter realize it was the head of the IOC’s address. Eventually the IOC’s special assistant was sent over to queue me into the system. There can be fewer greater miracles than that.”
The CEO, Director and artist reckons her style is influenced by need to be free and being comfortable be it in urban or traditional pieces.
“I have given them all red card” was the answer to the question ‘who was managing her heart’ stressing that although people associate her with toughness and shrewdness, she is all that on the field.
“When it comes to a relationship, when I see you want to put me in a certain zone I will make you loose my number. If you ask me out, I would think you are a man of such great integrity so you should know better so if soon afterwards you cause 1st blunder, second and third you are out. Mum says I should take it easy so am working on it.
“I like romance oh, you see once I was involved with a man and on his birthday I ordered a cake to be delivered to him from one coast to another. He was amazed I could do all that. I can be very sweet but I reckon I haven’t met my soul mate. Am not seeking perfection but when you have to make excuses for one whom you are involved with, then you ought to know you are not comfortable with that person. I am not the type to marry just for the sake of it. My parents are still married so when I do it, it’s for the long haul and I want my children to enjoy the best schools on offer because we were given the best.
“If I love a guy, I hesitate for him to cook for me because if you mess my food up you can be in trouble. I am an emotional cook and emotional about food but I enjoy simple dishes like kenkey and fried fish with grounded pepper and onions no tomatoes with a dash of salt. If its meat it should be well seasoned so that when I consume it, it tickles my taste buds. In fact I have friends in South Africa who vacate their kitchens for me once am in because the food must be right.
“Ultimately I would love to have a husband who owns his own job so that he can come over to the house to enjoy lunch I have prepared for him since I love cooking” Miss Adadevoh disclosed.
On favourite drinks, the well-travelled professional who has covered North, East, West, Central and Southern Africa as well as Eastern Europe, Europe, North and South America in addition to Asia says she enjoys Fazz German beer, Campari, Takai, red wine, Irish Cream while occasionally downing rum or whisky with coca cola.
Senyuiedzorm Adadevoh explained her commercial pictures go for anything in the bracket of $1500 to $2500. The ultimate advice she offers is “don’t try to be somebody else, learn from people if you can but advance the knowledge acquired and know that art is a spiritual work. Respect a good work.”
The management of Kotoko has asked Coach David Duncan to “step aside” following the string of poor results recorded by the Porcupines in the 2015/16 Premier League.
Kotoko lost 1-0 to Aduana Stars at Dormaa on match day six.
That was the team’s third away defeat since February 20, 2016 when they lost 2-0 to WAFA. The Porcupines have since drawn two times and won only once.
Communications Manager, Kwaku Ahenkorah, told Asantekotokosc.com that: “Management has asked Coach David Duncan to step aside until further notice and with immediate effect”.
“The decision has become necessary after the club’s abysmal performance in the ongoing Ghana Premier League where Kotoko lies an unprecedented last position” on the league table with five points.
“Assistant Coach Michael Osei takes over as head of the technical team in the interim. Management further apologises to the teeming fans of the club for the performance displayed so far” said Ahenkorah.
“We will endeavour to turn the tables and send the club where it duly belongs” he added.
Week six of the Ghana Premier League produced some surprises, Kumasi Asante Kotoko went bottom of the log after a 1-0 defeat to Aduana, defending champions AshantiGold were humiliated 5-1 at Liberty Professionals but the biggest of them all was Accra Hearts of Oak's 3-1 home defeat to Wa All Stars who themselves went top of the league. Some Hearts fans, not satisfied with the performance of the referee, Ernest Baafi and his assistants Eric O. Mensah and Freeman Anwulo, pelted them with bottled and sachet water.
Below are the full scores. Also click here to visit our photos for more from Hearts vs All Stars match
Dormaa: Aduana Stars (1) vs (0) Asante Kotoko
Dansoman: Liberty Professionals (5) vs (1) Ashantigold
Dawu: Dreams FC (1) vs (0) WAFA
Tarkwa: Medeama (2) vs (0) Bechem Utd
Obuasi: New Edubiase (2) vs (2) Techiman City
Accra: Hearts of Oak (1) vs (3) Wa All Stars
Sekondi: Hasaacas (2) vs (1) Chelsea
Cape Coast: Ebusua Dwarfs (3) vs (1) Inter Allies (Saturday).
Cristiano Ronaldo's late goal gave 10-man Real Madrid victory in El Clasico and ended La Liga leaders Barcelona's 39-match unbeaten run.
Gerard Pique's powerful downward header from a corner had given Barca a 56th-minute lead after a tense first half.
Karim Benzema's brilliant scissor kick made it 1-1, before Gareth Bale had a goal harshly ruled out for a push.
After Real captain Sergio Ramos was dismissed for receiving two bookings, Ronaldo's superb finish won the game.
Ronaldo's winner will undoubtedly grab the headlines, particularly as it has helped third-placed Real salvage some pride from a poor season to date, but the balance of the side was crucial to the victory.
Under Rafa Benitez, Real were overwhelmed 4-0 by Barcelona at the Bernabeu in November, but they showed far more steely edge at the Nou Camp.
Benitez was punished heavily for not picking Casemiro in midfield that night, an error that his successor Zinedine Zidane avoided repeating in his first El Clasico as a manager.
Casemiro's influence in breaking up Barcelona's attacks - and ensuring that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were frustrated - was crucial.
Real's front trio of Benzema, Gareth Bale and Ronaldo, nicknamed the BBC, played their part in the win, though.
Benzema recovered from a bad first-half miss to score acrobatically from Toni Kroos' deflected cross, while Bale could count himself unfortunate to have a goal ruled out when he headed in Ronaldo's chip, with the officials judging that he had pushed Jordi Alba.
Ronaldo, having had little impact on the match until the closing stages, grabbed his 42nd goal of the season late on, chesting down Bale's cross at the far post before driving a shot between the legs of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Black Stars defender Baba Rahman excelled in defence for Chelsea as he lasted the entire duration of the game in the Blues's 4-0 hammering of relegation-bound Aston Villa in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Jordan Ayew played the entire minutes of the game for Villa who finished the game with ten men at the Villa Park.
Baba, 21, played his 9th league game of the season and excelled at his left-back role as Brazilian Alexander Pato scored on his debut with Spain international Pedro scoring a brace.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek's deflected shot and Pato's precise penalty had given the visitors a healthy half-time lead.
Both Rahman and Ayew were in the Ghana squad that played against Mozambique in a 2017 AFCON qualifying double-header last month.
The Dutchman had more luck as a player than as a coach against Real Madrid, never facing them in European competition.
Johan Cruyff’s first Clásico goal is one of the most memorable in Barça history. On 17 February 1974, the Dutchman scored his first against Real Madrid in the unforgettable 5-0 win in the Santiago Bernabéu.
Cruyff’s first goal against Barça’s eternal rivals at Camp Nou took a little longer to arrive, coming as it did in a 3-1 win in his fourth season at the Club with fellow Dutchman Rinus Michels as coach.
As a player he took part in a total of eight Clásicos, all of them in the league. His record: four wins, two draws and two defeats.
As a Barça coach his record against Real Madrid was nine victories, six draws and ten defeats in 25 matches.
A closer look reveals that 16 of those matches came in the league (seven wins, four draws and five defeats), three in the Copa del Rey (a win in the 1990 final, a draw and a defeat in the semi-final elimination in the season 1992/93), six in the Spanish Super Cup (a win, a draw and four defeats).
He lost the three meetings with Real Madrid in the competition.
During his time at Barça, Johan Cruyff never faced Real Madrid in European competition.
Cruyff as coach faced a total of eight different managers in his meetings with Real Madrid - John Toshack, Alfredo Di Stefano, Leo Beenhakker, Benito Flor, Vicente del Bosque, Jorge Valdano and Arsenio Iglesias. The coach he faced most was Benito Floro whom he came up against on seven occasions.
In his time as coach as many as 15 different players found the net against Real Madrid.
Top scorer for Cruyff the coach was José Mari Bakero with six goals, followed by Ronald Koeman (5), Salinas (4), Romario and Amor (3), Stoichkov, Laudrup, Kodro (2), Carrasco, Goikoetxea, Iván Iglesias, Nadal, Roger and Figo (1).
José Mari Bakero scored the first three goals against Real Madrid of the Cruyff coach era in 1988/89 with Meho Kodro scoring the final two in the season 1995/96.
The most common result in the Clásico with Cruyff as coach was 1-1, a scoreline that occurred on five occasions.
Barça’s 5-0 win on 8 January 1994 is surely one of the best games of the Cruyff era as coach. A year later came one of the worst with Real Madrid winning 5-0 against Barça in the Bernabéu.
Johan Cruyff, along with Josep Guardiola, is the only man to have beaten Real Madrid 5-0 as a player and as a coach.
Between his first Clásico as a player and his last as a coach, there was a total of 8,029 days, or put another way, 21 years, 11 months and 25 days.
Head coach of the Black Stars Avram Grant has made it clear that he never apologised to Ghanaians for his bull***t comment because he didn’t insult anybody.
Speaking on Starr FM's Starr Drive, he said he only retracted the word bull***t after his attention was drawn that Ghanaians had taken offence to the word.
"I didn't apologise...because if you follow my career I have never insulted anybody",
The former Chelsea manager had been heavily criticised after he in the post-match press conference of the Black Stars game against Mozambique in Accra in the 2017 Nations Cup qualifier said “If this nation will concentrate on the football and not the bull***t, and just the football because there is a lot of passion, we can reach higher, high level. It is a long term target, but it’s achievable.”
Grant was on Thursday heard in an interview with GFA Spokesperson, Ibrahim Saanie Daara saying, “First, I withdraw this word. Just the thing I will like to say is I love Ghana and I respect Ghanaians and I care about the Ghanaian team".
"What I wanted to say is we need everybody not to focus on the unnecessary thing[s], only to focus about the most important things. [let's] focus on the important things that can take us forward and not about negative things," he told Daara.
But in the interview, he told hosts Bola Ray and Anita Erskine, that his comments were taken out of context.
According to him, bull***t is a word he uses often in his punditry work and at home with his kids and did not mean to use it in a derogatory manner.
"There was no negative meaning behind it because I use it in punditry work and at home with my kids," Grant said, adding that, Ghanaians are "kind" and "very welcoming" and will never disrespect them in anyway.
Spanish club, Valncia have sacked former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville just under four months into his first job as a full time manager, BBC Sports has reported.
The former Sky Sports pundit, who is part of Roy Hodgson's England coaching set-up, was appointed December and had first faced calls to quit after a 7-0 drubbing by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg in February.
Results during the 41-year-old's tenure had not been favourable as Valencia won three of their 16 league, leaving them 14th on the league log, six points clear of the relegation zone with eight games to the end of the season . He won 10 of 28 games overall.
The fate of his brother, Phil , who is also part of the coaching team, is not yet known.
Former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran, 53, will take charge for the rest of the season.