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AFC, StarTimes Confirm Media Rights Deal in Africa

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The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced StarTimes as their new media partner in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2021 to broadcast the AFC’s national team and club competitions including the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Final Round (until December 31, 2021) as well as the Group Stages, Knock-out Stages and Finals of the AFC Champions League 2021 and the AFC Cup 2021 on a non-exclusive basis.

Since entering the African market in 2008, StarTimes became the fastest-growing digital TV operator with services in more than 30 countries across the Continent. Today, StarTimes is one of the biggest pan-regional Pay-TV operators in sub-Saharan Africa, servicing over 13 million Pay-TV subscribers and 27 million streaming service users.

With the AFC national team and club competitions, StarTimes further expands their already impressive portfolio of rights, which includes the Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020 among others.

Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “The AFC is delighted with this new partnership which will bring the best of Asian football to the sub-Saharan African region, and we are thankful to the StarTimes for recognising the value of the AFC’s competitions.

The agreement will not only increase the exposure of our world-class competitions and platforms beyond the Continent, but also enhance the stature of the AFC’s brand as we continue to expand our family of global partners.”

Philippe Zou, StarTimes Content Operation Center Director, said: “We are delighted to partner with the Asian Football Confederation to bring the AFC’s national team and club competitions to Africa. Football is by far the most popular sport in Africa and African fans expect to enjoy the best football events. I am sure they will be very excited to watch the AFC competitions.”

Patrick Murphy, Board Member and CEO at Football Marketing Asia (FMA), said: “We are very pleased to welcome StarTimes as our new media partner in sub-Saharan Africa. We are looking forward to working closely with StarTimes to strengthen the presence of Asian football in the region.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Arsenal Prepares €100M Bid for Napoli’s Victor Osimhen

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Victor Osimhen

Arsenal is gearing up to make a significant splash in the summer transfer market, with plans to submit a formal €100 million bid for Napoli’s prolific striker Victor Osimhen in the coming days.

This move underscores the Gunners’ determination to bolster their attacking options ahead of the new Premier League season.

The news, reported by Italian journalist Ciro Venerato, highlights Arsenal’s ambition to secure a world-class forward who can enhance their offensive prowess.

“Arsenal will make an attempt with Napoli in the next few days after many rumors,” Venerato stated, confirming the North London club’s interest in the Nigerian international.

Victor Osimhen, who has been a standout performer for Napoli, has a release clause set at €130 million (approximately £110 million).

If Arsenal were to meet this clause, it would make Osimhen the club’s most expensive signing, surpassing the £105 million paid for Declan Rice last year.

However, reports suggest that Arsenal is hoping to negotiate a lower fee, with an initial bid of around €100 million (£85 million) being prepared.

Osimhen has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League, and Arsenal’s interest aligns with his aspirations.

Despite missing 11 matches due to injuries and his participation in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Osimhen managed to score 15 goals in 23 Serie A appearances in the recently concluded 2023/24 season.

Arsenal’s pursuit of Osimhen is part of a broader strategy to strengthen their squad after narrowly missing out on a top-four finish last season.

The club’s management is keen to add depth and quality to their roster, ensuring they can compete at the highest level domestically and in European competitions.

In addition to Arsenal, other top clubs have shown interest in Osimhen. Chelsea is reportedly monitoring the situation, while Paris Saint-Germain has also been linked with the striker as a potential replacement for Kylian Mbappe, who recently joined Real Madrid.

The potential acquisition of Osimhen would be a significant coup for Arsenal, signaling their intent to compete with the best in the Premier League.

The Nigerian striker’s blend of pace, power, and finishing ability would add a new dimension to Arsenal’s attack, complementing the talents of players like Gabriel Jesus, Bukayo Saka, and Martin Ødegaard.

As the summer transfer window progresses, Arsenal fans will be eagerly awaiting further developments. The club’s willingness to invest heavily in a player of Osimhen’s caliber demonstrates their commitment to returning to the pinnacle of English football.

If successful, this move could be a game-changer for the Gunners, providing the firepower needed to challenge for major honors in the upcoming season.

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Finidi George Resigns from Super Eagles Role, Confirms Toyin Ibitoye

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Finidi George

Finidi George has resigned from his position as the head coach of Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles.

This news was confirmed by former Super Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, who announced the resignation on his social media account.

“News just in: Finidi George @FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his @NGSuperEagles manager position,” Ibitoye posted, causing a ripple of reactions among fans and football analysts.

Finidi’s resignation comes just days after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed plans to appoint a foreign technical adviser, a move seen by many as a shake-up intended to bolster the team’s performance.

This strategic decision by the NFF likely influenced Finidi’s choice to step down.

Appointed on April 29, 2024, Finidi’s tenure was notably brief. He succeeded Jose Peseiro, whose contract expired in February.

During his short spell, Finidi managed two World Cup qualifying matches, leading the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw with South Africa and a 2-1 defeat to Benin Republic.

Despite the less-than-stellar results, Finidi’s appointment had initially been met with enthusiasm, with many hoping his extensive experience as a former international player and successful coach of Enyimba FC would translate into success for the national team.

The NFF’s decision to bring in foreign expertise highlights its commitment to enhancing the Super Eagles’ competitive edge on the international stage.

However, the timing of this announcement and Finidi’s subsequent resignation have sparked discussions about the stability and future direction of the team.

In response to the resignation, the NFF will need to expedite its search for a new head coach. This transition period is critical, especially with the ongoing World Cup qualifiers and other international fixtures looming.

Fans and stakeholders are watching closely, hoping that the new direction will bring positive changes and improved performances.

The NFF now faces the challenge of not only finding a suitable replacement but also ensuring that the transition is seamless to maintain team morale and focus.

The next few weeks will be crucial as the Super Eagles prepare under new guidance, aiming to meet the high expectations of their supporters and the nation.

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Napoli President Travels to Convince PSG on Osimhen’s €120M Clause

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Victor Osimhen

In a high-stakes move to secure the future of one of European football’s hottest talents, Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has flown to France to engage in direct talks with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) officials.

The purpose of the trip is to persuade the French club to trigger the €120 million release clause of Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen.

The 24-year-old forward has been a pivotal player for Napoli, drawing widespread attention with his impressive performances.

Last year, Osimhen expressed a desire to explore new opportunities, prompting Napoli to offer him a new contract that included a substantial release clause.

Despite his outstanding form, concerns over his recent injury have caused potential suitors to hesitate.

De Laurentiis’ trip to Paris underscores Napoli’s determination to secure a lucrative transfer for Osimhen. With PSG reportedly cooling their interest in recent months, the Napoli president aims to reignite their pursuit and finalize the deal.

“We believe Victor is worth every cent of his release clause,” a Napoli insider revealed. “De Laurentiis is committed to ensuring that any transfer reflects his true value.”

In addition to Osimhen, De Laurentiis is expected to discuss Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has reportedly agreed on personal terms with PSG.

The Napoli president aims to prevent the French giants from swooping in for another of their prized assets without due negotiation.

Over the past year, several top European clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United, have been linked with Osimhen.

However, his €120 million release clause and injury issues have deterred them from making firm offers. Chelsea, in particular, has turned its attention to alternative targets such as RB Leipzig’s Benjamin Sesko.

Despite these setbacks, De Laurentiis remains hopeful. “PSG has the financial power and the ambition to sign a player of Osimhen’s caliber,” he said before his departure. “We are here to ensure they understand the opportunity that lies before them.”

This development comes as Napoli seeks to balance their books and invest in strengthening their squad for the upcoming season. A successful sale of Osimhen would provide significant financial flexibility and allow them to pursue other high-profile targets.

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