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Lyon president says French League’s halt to Ligue 1 was “stupid’’

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Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas again lashed out at the French League for ending the Ligue 1 football season early amid the COVID-19, calling the decision “stupid”.

Aulas spoke after La Liga on Saturday got the Spanish government’s green light to resume play.

Matches will likely begin on June 12, according to league president Javier Tebas.

“In the past two months, the Spanish officials have been observing and working with UEFA,” Aulas said on Sunday, referring to European football’s governing body.

“What is paradoxical is that Javier Tebas, in particular, attended the same meetings than (French League director-general) Didier Quillot, notably that of April 23.

“In fact, what was said at that meeting with UEFA is `patience’. When we see that our officials attended this meeting and drew different conclusions, one can feel that we are really too stupid.”

The French League ended the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons last month with 10 games remaining, meaning that seventh-placed Lyon was denied a European spot through the league standings.

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Lyon’s appeal before an administrative tribunal was rejected on Friday, but they are now expected to lodge another appeal before the State Council, France’s highest court, alongside relegated Amiens and Toulouse.

Asked if he would have had the same reaction had Lyon been in a position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League when Ligue 1 was suspended in March, Aulas said: “I swear I would have, I swear on my children’s lives.”

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State Govts responsible for COVID-19 patients’ evacuation – NCDC

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Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says it is the responsibility of State Governments to evacuate COVID-19 patients to medical facilities for treatment.

Ihekweazu said this while fielding questions on Monday at the 49th joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.

According to the director-general, the NCDC cannot forcefully take a patient to the hospital as it is not a law enforcement agency.

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Ihekweazu was reacting to a viral video showing a patient being forcefully evacuated.

He said while he could not vouch for any health officer’s conduct in the country, the evacuation of patients remained the duty of the state governments.

“Every state has a responsibility for evacuation; as we start increasing the inclusion of the private sector in care, you would find that more people would start evacuating patients with the private sector services.

”So, there is a whole spectrum of possibilities that could have happened.

“What we don’t do as health workers is to use force to evacuate patients to provide them care. That would be a very unusual reaction.

”We are not law enforcement and we are not trained in law enforcement.

“We never use force to evacuate patients; if we have difficulty and there are specific circumstances because of public health reasons why an evacuation has to happen, we would invite our friends in the (security) services to support us in that act,” Ihekweazu said. 

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Gunmen shoot dead prominent Iraqi analyst and advisor – officials

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Gunmen in Baghdad killed a well-known former government advisor and political analyst near his home on Monday, government officials, police sources and medics said.

The government officials described the killing of Hisham al-Hashemi, who had written about politics, Islamic State, and the role of Iran-backed militias in Iraq as a targeted killing but did not point the finger at any particular group.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Hashemi’s killing.

Police sources said two gunmen on a motorbike shot him outside his house in the Zayouna district in eastern Baghdad.

Hashemi, who was well-connected with politicians, activists, and paramilitary officials, worked as an advisor to former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and informally with the government of current Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a government official said.

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Plateau: Fashola reveals when collapsed Wase/Langtang Bridge will be completed

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Okada

The Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, says repairs of the collapsed Wase/Langtang Bridge in Plateau State will be completed in two months.

The minister made this known when Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State visited his office in Abuja on Monday.

According to a statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Dr. Makut Masham, the minister sympathized with the state government over the natural disaster.

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Fashola said the ministry had commenced the design and cost of the bridge which would take two months to complete.

He said that immediate palliative works should be carried out to restore temporary connection for people in the area, while the permanent solution was being worked out.

”The Federal Controller of Works in Plateau had recommended the replacement of the old collapsed bridge with a new one, which was being considered,” Fashola said.

Earlier in his remarks, Lalong said the visit was to seek an immediate solution on the bridge which had completely cut off links to Wase and Langtang Local Government Areas and travelers to Taraba State.

“I took a personal visit to the area to see things for myself last week, and as you know, it is a Federal Road. From what I saw, it is something that needs the federal financial might to fix.

“I have asked my people to provide boats as alternatives for now, but this cannot be sustained for a long time considering the economic activities that take place in the area.

”We need the quick intervention of the Federal Government, which is why I decided to pay this visit to you,” he said.

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