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Infantino staying on as FIFA blasts Swiss probe, Sports News

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino will continue in his post, world football’s governing body insisted Sunday, as they blasted the launch of Swiss criminal proceedings against him.

“There was and is absolutely no reason to open any investigation because nothing remotely criminal has happened and there is nothing at all to suggest any form of criminal wrongdoing,” FIFA said in a media release.

“The FIFA president will continue to fully assume his functions within FIFA and fulfil his duties and will continue to cooperate with the authorities in Switzerland and around the world.”

Special prosecutor Stefan Keller started proceedings on Thursday as part of an investigation into suspected collusion between Infantino and Switzerland’s attorney general Michael Lauber, the country’s top prosecutor.

Lauber, who offered his resignation on July 24, was in charge of Switzerland’s probe into the towering corruption scandal that exploded at the heart of Zurich-based FIFA in 2015.

But he was forced to recuse himself from the investigation in June 2019, following media revelations that he had held several undeclared meetings with Infantino during the probe.

Swiss authorities said Keller “reached the conclusion that… there are indications of criminal conduct” in relation to meetings between Infantino, Lauber and another official, Rinaldo Arnold, in 2016 and 2017.

“This concerns abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to these acts,” the authorities said.

– Categorical denial –

FIFA hit back on Sunday, accusing Keller of having brought forward no legal grounds for his probe.

“Keller has presented no serious elements or legal basis for the opening of any investigation and lacks any detail as to the substance of the case.

“FIFA and the FIFA president categorically deny any implication or suggestion that the FIFA president would ever have attempted to exert any form of improper influence” on Lauber.

FIFA said it was “not illegal anywhere in the world” to meet a prosecutor.

It said the meeting between Infantino and Lauber was “entirely logical” given that the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) was conducting investigations in more than 20 cases in FIFA-related matters.

The organisation said such meetings or contacts were “routine” during an investigation.

It said the point of the meeting was to offer FIFA’s “full support” for the investigations, and Infantino attended in “good faith”.

“FIFA was trying to restore trust in the institution at that time,” it said, finding itself “in a disastrous situation and at risk of being designated a criminal organisation by the US authorities”.

FIFA said that “in no way whatsoever” were the meetings secret, and they had been arranged by the OAG.

– ‘No obligation’ to keep minutes –

FIFA claimed that meeting a prosecutor was “the best guarantee that any such meeting is legitimate”.

It also insisted there was “no obligation” on the FIFA president to keep minutes of such meetings.

Switzerland has pursued a number of cases since a raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich in May 2015 led to the arrests of a several FIFA executives and exposed an allegedly corrupt underbelly in world football.

In total, more than 20 FIFA proceedings have been opened in Switzerland over the past five years into allegations of corruption and vote-buying, and allegations over the awarding of television rights contracts.

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Colorado Schools select sports moving to the fall

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COLORADO — The Governor’s office is giving schools the option to move football, field hockey, and sideline spirit to the fall, which was originally slated to start in the springs due to COVID-19.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) requested variances for remaining fall sports but they are still being considered by the Governor’s response team.

“I think they looked at the numbers and they looked at what can be done to safely put students back on the field,” Bert Borgmann, Assistant Commissioner with CHSAA.

Originally, the athletic schedule put in place for this school year was for football, field hockey and cheer to kick off in the spring. Schools like Harrison School District Two are sticking to that format.

“The original plan gave our athletes the opportunity to get on a field and participate, “said Dave Hogan. “There were state championships there and there were there for everyone.”

But others like D11 are bringing Friday night football back this fall. D11’s Athletic Director, Chris Noll says it’s partly due to the lessening of current restrictions.

“We just felt like we need to get the kids back to some normalcy,” said Noll. “We feel we can return safely.”

Regardless of what each school choses to do, CHSAA has a schedule for both seasons.

“A champion will be crowned in both A and C seasons and if there are some limited teams in C there will be some different types of scheduling that will be created,” said Borgmann.

Prior to the decision, several students and parents voicing their concern on there not being football in the fall.

“The reality of recruiting is, if you are high school senior at this point and don’t have a Division One offer, you’re not getting a Division One offer,” said Borgmann.

As for other fall sports who didn’t get lumped in with this current variance like boys soccer and girls volleyball, CHSAA says the governor’s office has yet to approve.

“We were disappointed we wanted our volleyballers to have an opportunity, they will compete till just be in season C,” said Noll.

As of Thursday, Harrison, Sierra, Canon City and the Classical Academy have decided to not move to the fall.

Response from the Governor’s Office:

“CDPHE responded to the requests that were submitted to the agency on Saturday of this past week, which included requests for football, field hockey, cheer and dance and volleyball. CDPHE provided conditional approval for the increased rosters for all of the outdoor sports that were listed in the letter, but denied the request for variances related to indoor sports. Soccer was not one of the sports included in Saturday’s letter.”

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Coronavirus: Big White Ski Club cancels annual ski, board and sport swap – Okanagan

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has waylaid yet another popular event: Big White Ski Club’s annual ski, board and sport swap.

The popular event was scheduled to take place Oct. 23-24 at New Life Church along Harvey Avenue in Kelowna.

This week, though, organizers said this year’s gathering has been cancelled because of coronavirus guidelines and concerns.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Big White Ski Resort seeking Canadians for winter workforce

“This was a difficult decision to cancel our 50th annual ski, board and sport swap, but Covid-19 restrictions on group sizes and safety protocols would make it impossible to operate our largest fundraiser of the year,” said club president Dave Willoughby.

Funds raised by the swap help support around 150 youth athletes, says Willoughby. But this year’s cancellation is expected to have a significant impact on the non-profit club’s finances.

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COVID-19: Face masks to be mandatory at Sunshine Village for ski season


COVID-19: Face masks to be mandatory at Sunshine Village for ski season

Willoughby, however, is hopeful the swap will take place next year.

For more information about the Big White Ski Club, including how to donate, click here and here.




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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Metro Schools’ sports to begin playing games next week

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Football at high schools within Metro Nashville Public Schools will be allowed to resume on September 25.

Dr. Adrienne Battle, director of MNPS made the announcement during Mayor John Cooper’s weekly news conference.

Dr. Battle also announced girl’s soccer can return September 23.

“I’m proud to be able to say that high school students will be able to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities in person, whether they attend school in person or remain in the virtual environment,” she said.

Fans won’t be able to attend games yet, but Dr. Battle said they are working on ways to add to the school spirit.

“We will allow cheerleaders and marching bands to be at games in a way that will provide for both social distancing and a bit of game time atmosphere.”

Live streaming technology is being added to stadiums for home games as well.

Football coaches in the district were given approval to start contact practice last Friday.

Previously, district leaders said contact practice was on hold until COVID-19 conditions improved for the city.

“We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 metrics to make further determinations regarding starting games and competitions,” MNPS Spokesperson Sean Braisted said in a statement.

He added that all extracurricular social distancing guidelines and precautions have to be followed, and the district will begin to phase in extracurricular activities as conditions allow. That goes with the district’s phase-in approach to in-person learning.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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