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  • Messi's Spanish jail sentence for tax fraud to stand

     

    A 21-month jail term handed down last year to Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi has been confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, but he is unlikely to go to prison.

    Messi and his father Jorge, who manages his finances, were both convicted in 2016 of defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.6m) in taxes.

     

    Jorge Messi's jail term was reduced because he paid some of the taxes.


    In Spain, prison terms of under two years can be served under probation.


    The case will now return to the court in Barcelona that handed down the original judgement.


    Lionel Messi, a five-time world footballer of the year, has denied any involvement and told his trial in June 2016: "I only worried about playing football."


    But in its decision on Wednesday, the court said: "It defies logic to concede that someone who earns a large income does not know that he must pay taxes on it."


    Both men were originally convicted of three counts of fraud, for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009, and were also given heavy fines.

     

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  • Beginning a new chapter: Ethiopian Sport Journalists Association elects female vice president for the first time

    ADDIS ABABA, May 22, 2017 – The newly elected Ethiopian Sport Journalists Association (ESJA) Executive Committee (EC) had appointed Hana Gebresilassie Ambaw, as its vice president, at its monthly meeting last Friday. She is the first woman to take the position in the association’s sporadic but recently invigorated almost half a century of history.

    Hana, 27, a Political Science and International Relations BA Degree holder from Dire Dawa University, one of the active female sport journalists in Ethiopia, was elected to take the vice presidency unanimously by Executive Committee members. With a range of work experience, the new ESJA vice president is a former senior Sport reporter at the national Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) and is currently working as executive producer and host of weekly local radio talk show called “Olympiad” at 97.1 FM which she launched independently two years ago.

    “Being the first woman sport journalist to take this position is both a privilege and huge responsibility, but, since it is my greatest interest to lift the standards of sport journalism in Ethiopia, by working together with my colleagues, I will give emphasis to take the responsibility that I bear seriously. Finally I hope that, other qualified women in different working environments will also pursue the leadership roles they deserve,”Hana told AIPS after taking over the vice presidency position.

    The 11-member ESJA Executive Committee also voted that female sports journalist Konjit Teshome remain as treasurer of the association, a position which she held months ago on an interim basis.

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  • Usain Bolt filmed digging grave of his friend Germaine Mason

    Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest 100 and 200 meter runner, has been filmed in his country Portland, Jamaica digging the grave of his recently died friend, Team Great Britain’s Olympic silver medalist, Germaine Mason, independent reported.

    Bolt, 30, 100-and-200 meters world record holder has been in the video helping to lay a grave to rest the British high-jumper set to be buried on May 21.

    Mason fell off of his motorcycle on the Norman Manley highway in East Kingston and died on April 20 in his native.

    Bolt, who was part of the convoy and one of the first people on the scene, helped bury Mason on 21 May.

    The pair had been friends since 2002 and appeared in many photographs together.

    Mason won silver in the high jump at the Beijing Games in 2008.

    He grew up in the Caribbean before emigrating to the UK and switching allegiances to Team GB in 2006.

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  • Why fight broke out in Mekelle’s national league game?

    Absence of fair play has been a recurrent debacle for the lagging behind of Ethiopian football. The fight that broke out between Bahirdar and Mekelle Kenema Football Clubs fans on the match of the National League competition at the Mekelle University’s Stadium can be a good testimony for the above statement.

    On Saturday, the match was interrupted after fight broke out between the two teams fans. The said reason for the interruption, according to sport lovers and sources was “the free kick given to Mekelle Kenema F.C. was not welcomed by Bahirdar Kenema fans”. As the fight broke out, according to Deutshe Welle Amharic Service, Police used tear gas and fans were beaten—caused injuries of many, wounded fans shown on Social Medias.

    Nation’s football governing authority, Ethiopian Football Federation’s (EFF) Head of Public Relations, Zemedkun Alayewe told Deutshe Welle that “we are waiting for the details about the Saturday’s game”.

    Fights and immoral insults have not been limited to Mekelle’s game only, rather it is becoming a common tragedy on country’s other stadiums, too, while the Mekelle’s game even accompanied by “ethnic insults” committed by some fans. Attached to that reason, many have severely criticizing the EFF for its failure to enforce the fair play, a center of any football games.

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  • The 'Iranian Messi': Barcelona star's lookalike taken to police station

    An Iranian student had to be taken to a police station at the weekend - because he looks too much like Lionel Messi.

    So many people in the city of Hamaden wanted a picture with Reza Parastesh that police took him to the station and impounded his car to stop the chaos.

    The fuss started a few months ago when the Messi lookalike's dad made him pose in a number 10 Barcelona shirt.

    The 25-year-old soon started cutting his hair and grooming his beard like the Argentina forward.

    He told AFP: "Now people really see me as the Iranian Messi and want me to mimic everything he does. When I show up somewhere, people are really shocked.

    "I'm really happy that seeing me makes them happy and this happiness gives me a lot of energy."

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  • UN hails Ghana’s Muntari for walking out of game after racist chants

    A top United Nations human rights official hailed Pescara’s Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari for walking out of the club’s game against Cagliari amid racists chants from the stands targeting him.

    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein labeled Muntari an “inspiration” for his move to leave the pitch after the referee booked him for complaining about racist chants.

    Zeid urged FIFA to pay greater attention to the persistent problem of racism in games, saying that his office had been in touch with the soccer’s governing body.

    Muntari said he had complained that parts of the crowd, including a group of children, had hurled racist insults at him from the start of his Italian team’s game at Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday.

    The player said the referee then told him to stop talking to the crowd and ended up showing him the yellow card for dissent in the 90th minute.

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