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SENEGAL – Russian doping and corruption: Papa Massata Diack on his fate this Thursday

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Papa Massata Diack, the son of former world athletics boss Lamine Diack, will decide his fate on Thursday: the Paris Court of Appeal, where he was retried for corruption in the Russian doping scandal, is due to announce its decision early this afternoon, AFP reports.

The former marketing consultant of the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) was sentenced in September 2020 to five years in prison and a million euro fine for complicity in a system of bribes.to hide cases of blood doping in Russian athletes in 2011, a year before the London Olympics.

By dragging out sanctions proceedings against these athletes with suspicious biological passports, the IAAF allowed some of them to participate in the Games.

In return, the major Russian sponsors had renewed their partnership contracts with the IAAF, now World Athletics, in preparation for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

Dubbed the «LDC», Diack Jr was also found guilty of embezzling EUR 15 million from sponsorship contracts through a set-up of front companies.

Aged 57, Mr. Diack has always affirmed his innocence from Senegal, which he says he cannot leave because he is under judicial supervision in the same case. For his lawyers, the commissions paid were “proportionate” to the size of the contracts, and he was the one who convinced the major institutions to sponsor an underfunded federation at the time.

The lawyer of the international federation, Me Régis Bergonzi, had denounced during the trial on appeal in January a «banana organization» of the IAAF of the time of Lamine Diack, between 1999 and 2015, a president surrounded by faithful and who monetized loyalties.

Among the civil parties, World Athletics claims a total of €41.2 million in damages, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a symbolic euro and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) €300,000 in compensation.

All finally suspended

At first instance, five other protagonists, including Lamine Diack, were convicted. Diack’s father and the former head of the IAAF anti-doping, the Frenchman Gabriel Dollé, died in 2021 and the lawsuits died out. Two Russian sports officials at the time, Valentin Balakhnitchev and Alexey Melnikov, did not appeal.

In January, only former Presidential Legal Advisor Habib Cissé appeared before the Court of Appeal. Sentenced at first instance to three years in prison, two of which were suspended, a €100,000 fine and a five-year ban on practising as a lawyer, he also denied having been an accomplice in the Russian case.

The former 52-year-old personal adviser to Lamine Diack assured the bar that notifications concerning several athletes to the Russian Federation (ARAF) had been processed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the degree of suspicion of doping, Stressing that all suspected sportsmen had finally been suspended.

Mr Cissé was also found guilty of receiving €3.45 million from Russian athletes in exchange for ‘total protection’, that is, their disappearance from the list of athletes suspected of doping.

Investigators had found in his home a list containing the names of several athletes and money. They had also exhumed a SMS conversation with «PMD» where it was about «refund».

“Appearances are overwhelming,” he admitted, but said he “never asked for money.”

The Public Prosecutor’s Office requested confirmation of the trial judgment for both men.

The case, which had shaken the world of sport, had been revealed by the agent of the Russian marathon runner Liliya Shobukhova, who had paid 450,000 euros to disappear from the list. Finally suspended in 2014, it had requested a refund and received 300,000 euros from an account in Singapore that allowed it to trace back to «LDC».

With AFP

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A LA UNE

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Robert Beugré Mambé reassured after an infrastructure visit

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© CICG-CÔTE D’IVOIRE

Yamoussoukro, December 26, 2023- After an impregnation visit of the Charles Konan-Banny stadium in Yamoussoukro, Tuesday, December 26, 2023, the Prime Minister, Minister of Sport and Living Environment, Robert Beugré Mambé, said reassured. The stadium, he said, is ready to host Group C matches from Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea and The Gambia.

‘What we have seen is reassuring. Technically, from the equipment point of view, we are ready at the Yamoussoukro stadium. But we will remain vigilant until the end,” said Robert Beugré Mambé.

The Prime Minister called for on-call teams to be set up in all sectors. We will have specialists permanently because Côte d’Ivoire wants to be up to date, in all circumstances, with the expected benefits of this great country. We have given indications that vigilance is needed,’ insisted the Head of Government.

For this visit, which is part of the visits of infrastructure related to the CAN 2023, the Vice-President of the Republic, Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, accompanied by the Prime Minister and other members of the government, visited the host infrastructure, in particular the President’s Hotel where official delegations will stay.

CAN 2023 is scheduled from January 13 to February 11, 2024 in Côte d’Ivoire with 24 teams.

CICG

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FOOTBALL

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Partenariat: La FIF et le Groupe Carré D’Or ensemble pour la promotion du football Ivoirien

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La Fédération Ivoirienne de Football (FIF) et le Groupe Carré D’Or ont conclu, ce vendredi 8 décembre 2023 à Novotel Plateau, un accord de partenariat en vue du développement du football en Côte d’Ivoire.

Leader de l’agro-industrie en Côte d’Ivoire depuis la fin des années 90, le Groupe Carré D’Or vient de s’ajouter à la liste des entreprises citoyennes partenaires de la Fédération Ivoirienne de Football (FIF) dans sa mission de développer le football en Côte d’Ivoire. Ce vendredi en effet, à Novotel Plateau, son Directeur Exécutif M. Khalil Ezzedine et le Président de la FIF M. Yacine Idriss Diallo, ont paraphé devant une parterre d’invité constitué de chefs d’entreprises, de légendes du football Ivoirien, de dirigeants sportifs et des médias, un accord de partenariat.

« Au Groupe Carré D’Or, nous avons une politique sportive très développée. Depuis plusieurs années en effet, nous partageons notre passion du port avec les Ivoiriens, sur le plan organisationnel et du sponsoring. Pour nous, sceller un partenariat avec la FIF un fait naturel. Nous sommes donc heureux de soutenir les Éléphants et dans le même temps le championnat national. C’est un réel plaisir de nous associer à la FIF dans sa mission de développement du football en Côte d’Ivoire et à participer à l’encadrement de la jeunesse Ivoirienne », explique le patron du Groupe Carré d’Or.

Pour sa part, le Président de la FIF, M. Yacine Idriss Diallo s’est réjouit de cette union avec le Groupe Carré d’Or.« Notre mission est d’encadrer la jeunesse à travers la mise en place d’une organisation efficiente pour que le football ivoirien aille de l’avant. Et donc dans cette mission là, avoir à ses côtés des entreprises symboliques comme le Groupe Carré d’Or est une fierté et une grande joie pour nous. Nous allons faire tout pour que ce partenariat soit de qualité, qu’il soit gagnant-gagnant sur l’ensemble des produits qui vont être utilisés. Le Groupe Carré d’Or sera donc à nos côtés en partie avec les Éléphants mais aussi sur la Ligue 1 et d’autres activités de la fédération. C’est donc une grosse satisfaction pour nous », reconnaît le Président de la Fédération Ivoirienne de Football.

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FOOTBALL

FAILURE OF THE ELECTION OF THE FEGUIFOOT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – Guinea risks missing CAN 2023

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The election of the members of the executive committee of the Guinean Football Federation, convened by the Standardization Committee on November 26, 2023, did not take place due to a lack of quorum. This election was therefore postponed to a later date.
 
 The FIFA envoy invites Guinean football players to put aside their disagreements and make compromises for the happiness of football lovers.  “Let’s put the egos aside, think about Guinean football, think about the journalists who live off it. Let’s compromise and move forward,” said Gelson Fernandes.
 
According to the FIFA Special Envoy, it is up to Guinea to deal with this problem. “Guinea is master of its own destiny. We will give our position. Guinea chooses which federation it wants to be in. The ball is in Guinea’s court. If she wants to move forward we will help her, but the ball is not in the CAF’s or FIFA’s court,” he suggested.

Referring to the failure to elect the members of the Executive Committee, Gelson Fernandes acknowledged that this is a serious situation and said he regretted the consequences it could have on the Syli as the CAN approaches which will take place in January-February 2024 in Côte d’Ivoire.

 Finally, he invited Guinean football players to put their ego aside to allow Guineans to continue to live their passion to the full.

The term of the current Standards Committee is set for 30 November 2023. Guinean football is waiting.

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