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Former Spain’s Football Chieftain May Get More Than Two-year Jail Term Over Kissing A Woman Player –

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Former Spain’s Football Chieftain May Get More Than Two-year Jail Term Over Kissing A Woman Player -

A prosecutor at Spain’s High Court is seeking a prison sentence of 2-1/2 years for former soccer federation chief Luis Rubiales over his unsolicited kiss on player Jenni Hermoso, a court document seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.

Prosecutor Marta Durantez charged Rubiales with one count of sexual assault and one of coercion for his alleged actions in the aftermath of the kiss, offences carrying jail terms of one year and one-and-a-half years, respectively.

Rubiales, 46, unleashed a furore when he grabbed Hermoso and kissed her on the lips on Aug. 20 of last year during the awards ceremony after Spain’s victory in the women’s World Cup in Sydney.

Hermoso and her teammates said the kiss was unwanted and demeaning, but Rubiales argued it was consensual and denied any wrongdoing.

The prosecutor also accused the former coach of the women’s national team, Jorge Vilda, the team’s current sporting director, Albert Luque, and the federation’s head of marketing, Ruben Rivera, of coercing Hermoso into saying the kiss was consensual.

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All three have denied wrongdoing when they appeared before the court.

Durantez seeks to have Rubiales pay 50,000 euros ($54,080) in damages to Hermoso, and another 50,000 euros jointly paid by Rubiales, Vilda, Luque and Rivera.

If the court were to convict Rubiales and impose the sentencing sought by the prosecutor he would not necessarily have to go to prison. Spain’s criminal code allows judges to “exceptionally” suspend the execution of the sentence if – as in this case – none of the sentences imposed individually exceeds two years.

Reuters

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Banyana Banyana rewards player for 100th cap despite Olympic failure

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The South African Football Association (SAFA) on Tuesday awarded Banyana Banyana right back, Lebohang Ramalepe a 100th cap milestone jersey  despite the disappointing goalless draw with Nigeria’s Super Falcon.

The result meant that South Africa lost out to Nigeria in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification on a 1-0 aggregate.

The skillful Ramalepe who plays as a defender was part of the  Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Banyana Banyana winning squad, as well as the side that finished in the Round of 16 at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup.

For Nigeria, it will be the fourth time at the Olympics after the editions of 2000, 2004 and 2008.

 

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Rasheedat Ajibade scored Nigeria’s first winning goal against South Africa in eight years –

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Rasheedat Ajibade scored Nigeria’s first winning goal against South Africa in eight years -

When Captain of the side, Rasheedat Ajibade scored from a 43rd minute penalty kick and gave Nigeria a 1-0 win over South Africa in a Paris 2024 Olympics qualifier in Abuja on Friday, it was the first time that the Super Falcons had beaten the Banyana Banyana since their 1-0 win at the  Women’s Africa Cup of Nations o 29 November 2016 in Limbe, Cameroon.

Ever since, the encounters have been tight and regulation time scorelines had been in South Africa’s favour.

In their next encounter after 2016, South Africa shocked Super Falcons 1-0 in a Group a Group B match of WAFCON in Cape Coast, Ghana. They eventually played goalless in the final match and Nigeria excelled 4-3 on penalties.

The next two encounters in 2021 and 2022 ended in victories for South Africa.

 

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Nigeria Mobilises Against South Africa –

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Nigeria Mobilises Against South Africa -

The General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has implored Nigerians based in the Federal capital, Abuja and environs, and indeed from neighbouring States, to troop out in large numbers to the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday to support the Super Falcons in their Women’s Olympic Football Tournament African final qualifying, first leg game against South Africa.

Nine-time African champions Nigeria and reigning African champions South Africa clash in a potentially-explosive affair in Nigeria’s magnificent sporting facility as from 5pm on Friday. The return leg is due for Pretoria’s high altitude arena, Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday next week.

Girls are ready – Uchenna Kanu and Halimatu Ayinde at training on Wednesday.

“The NFF is calling on Nigerians from all over the Federal Capital Territory and the neighbouring States, and indeed from all over Nigeria, to come out in their tens of thousands to cheer the Super Falcons to victory in the match against South Africa.

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“This is a big match by all standards. We are specially appealing to our people to come en masse and support the Super Falcons. It is important for us to get a big win here in order to be in good stead before flying to South Africa. A handsome win here will bolster our ladies with the confidence and mentality to overcome in Pretoria,” Sanusi said.

 

Nigeria has not participated in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament since 2008, when the Falcons lost all three matches in the group phase in China.

 

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Captain Rasheedat Ajibade said on Wednesday that the objective of Africa’s leading women’s team, the Falcons, remains the same right from the beginning of the qualifiers.

 

“From the time we played Ethiopia, we have been committed to seeing these qualification series through. Our objective has always been to win a slot to the Olympics. Most of us are yet to play in the Olympics and it is a big issue with us. We want to be there in Paris.

 

“There are a couple of issues the Super Falcons have to sort out with Banyana Banyana, really. However, that is not the motivation this time. The motivation is qualifying for the Olympics.”

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Nigeria emerged Africa’s top team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand eight months ago, unbeaten in regulation time before exiting at the Round of 16 courtesy of penalty shootout defeat by England.

 

As at lunchtime on Wednesday, captain Ajibade and 20 other players were in the Super Falcons’ camp, and the team had a first training session at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Wednesday morning.

 

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The Banyana Banyana delegation arrived in Nigeria on Sunday.

 

In Camp:

 

Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi, Linda Jiwuaku

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Defenders: Jumoke Alani, Osinachi Ohale, Chidinma Okeke, Shukurat Oladipo, Michelle Alozie, Nicole Payne

 

Midfielders: Rasheedat Ajibade, Toni Payne, Deborah Abiodun, Jennifer Echegini, Christy Ucheibe, Halimatu Ayinde

 

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Forwards: Uchenna Kanu, Gift Monday, Omorinsola Babajide, Ifeoma Onumonu, Esther Okoronkwo, Chiwendu Ihezuo

 

 

 

 

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