‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure

first_img Submit Share StumbleUpon Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Related Articles Share Flutter Entertainment has confirmed that former The Stars Group Inc (TSG) Group Chief Executive Rafi Ashkenazi has chosen to end his responsibilities as a non-executive director of the company, effective immediately.  The confirmation of Ashkenazi’s departure follows Flutter publishing its 2020 interim statement this morning, in which corporate governance underlined that it would accelerate technology integrations and regulatory alignment with TSG assets to help the company navigate COVID-19 headwinds. Under Flutter-TSG original merger proposals, Ashkenazi had been offered the position to serve as Group COO, a proposal the executive had turned down by choosing to serve the enlarged enterprise as a non-executive director.A long-term executive of PokerStars, in 2015 Ashkenazi was appointed as Chief Executive of Amaya Inc following the abrupt departure of former CEO David Baazov – who faced allegations of insider trading related to Amaya’s acquisition of PokerStars. At the time, Ashkenazi had been branded as a trusted hand to steady PokerStars ship following Baazov’s controversial tenure which had damaged the firm’s reputation with investors.However, Ashkenazi moved to rapidly diversify the company, rebranding Amaya Inc to The Stars Group (TSG) and launching the firm’s new BetStars sportsbook and casino platforms.Having led the TSG recovery, in 2018 Ashkenazi stamped his mark as a deal making CEO by completing back-to-back acquisitions of CrownBet Australia (AUS $350m) and the $5 billion transformative buyout of Sky Betting & Gaming – stating TSG’s intent to become a dominant sportsbook player. TSG’s M&A drive was undertaken as the US market began to open for regulated wagering following the repeal of federal PASPA laws – a landmark decision which would change all industry dynamics.Amid a rapidly changing US market backdrop and heightened regulatory scrutiny across Europe, in 2019 Ashkenazi greenlighted TSG’s $12 billion merger with Flutter Entertainment – a deal which created the outright global lead in online gambling.In May, Flutter and TSG completed all merger regulatory hurdles to finalise the transaction.Speaking to investors, Flutter Plc chairman Gary McGann thanked Ashkenazi for overseeing the transformative merger, which sees Flutter operate the global portfolio of Betfair, Paddy Power, PokerStars, Sky Bet, SportsBet Australia and FanDuel.  “I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the major contribution of Rafi in creating the exceptional business that is TSG,” said McGann.“Rafi has made a significant impact on TSG during his seven-year tenure and was instrumental in transforming TSG from a single product operator to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings. We wish him well for the future.” BlueRibbon signs strategic partnership with The Stars Group August 18, 2020 PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020last_img read more

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FIFA approves the expansion of Women’s World Cup

first_imgThe FIFA Council has unanimously agreed to the proposal to expand the participating countries in the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ from 24 to 32, with effect as of the next edition of the tournament in 2023.Since the bidding process for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is already underway − with the nine bidders initially expected to submit their bid books by 4 October 2019 – the FIFA Council exceptionally made this decision remotely, and not at one of its meetings, the next of which is scheduled for 23-24 October in Shanghai.Having been presented with a background document on the expansion, FIFA’s decision-making body voted in favour of adopting the 32-team format and, as a consequence, updating the hosting requirements and the timeline of the bidding process for 2023. The key milestones of this updated timeline are:August 2019: circular to be sent out with a short time window for:current bidding member associations to reconfirm their interest in biddingany other eligible member associations to express their interest in biddingDecember 2019: deadline for bid submissionsApril 2020: expected publication of Bid Evaluation ReportMay 2020: expected appointment of host(s)The FIFA administration will also initiate a consultation process with the confederations in order to develop a proposal for the slot allocation, which will then require approval by the FIFA Council.“The astounding success of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women’s football. I am glad to see this proposal – the first of several − becoming a reality,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.“The expansion reaches far beyond the eight additional participating teams; it means that, from now on, dozens more member associations will organize their women’s football programme knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the most powerful trigger for the professionalization of the women’s game, but it comes but once every four years and is only the top of a much greater pyramid.“In the meantime, we all have a duty to do the groundwork and strengthen women’s football development infrastructure across all confederations.” Source: FIFA.comlast_img read more

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Let’s unite and create wealth for Ghana football – Kurt Okraku

first_imgNewly-elected President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt E. S Okraku says it is the time for everyone to work together to bring back the lost glory of Ghana football.Kurt was elected into the vacant GFA Presidential seat previously occupied by Kwesi Nyantakyi who left office in 2018 after he was implicated in the corruption exposé in Ghana football by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.He polled 59 votes in the second round needing just one vote to win the elections.In the third round, Okraku was endorsed by 93 delegates.Kurt Okraku now is the 7th GFA President since 1992 and the 24th in the Association’s history.Speaking after winning the elections, Okraku acknowledged the various contestants he beat to emerge as the winner.“My proud, proud contestants, I am really humbled by this unique and amazing opportunity to serve you.Today there has not been a Kurt Okraku winner, the winning team is Ghana.”He further stated that the smooth electoral process should be the yardstick to countries across the globe.“We have shown, not to only ourselves or Africa but to the entire world that we can stand for our rights.We have shown that we have a lot of quality from all the six contestants, from our ideologies to the way we approached situations during this process.”The new president of the GFA called on everyone to unite to help revive Ghana football.“It is the time I call for unity, football is a team sport, I cannot do it alone, my team cannot do it alone.It is time to ignite passion and to create wealth for everybody involved in football, our footballers, the women’s team, colts football, the grounds men, the referees. Everyone involved in football.In celebrating this success, let us all think that it is always Ghana first.Let us celebrate today and go straight to work tomorrow.”last_img read more

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The shocking Luis Suarez stat from Bayern’s humiliation of Barcelona

first_imgLuis Suarez saw little of the ball as Barcelona were humbled by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.In fact, over a third of the Uruguayan’s passes came from kick-off as Quique Setien’s side shipped goal after goal in the 8-2 defeat.Suarez made nine of his 24 passes from the centre centre – eight from Bayern’s eight goals and one from the start of the first half.The former Liverpool striker did salvage some pride for himself, scoring Barcelona’s second goal at the Estadio da Luz.last_img

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National HIV Testing Day

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tomorrow is National HIV Testing Day.The health department is reminding you to get the facts and get tested. Around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV.1 in 7 people don’t know that they have it, and nearly 62% of adults have never been tested. According to the health department, this area in particular is at high risk for HIV transmission, due to acute Hepatitis C infections and increased prescription and IV drug abuse.The only way to know whether or not you are infected is to get tested.Tomorrow the local health department will be offering free, confidential, and anonymous rapid HIV testing.Knowing your HIV status is important for your overall health and well-being. It is recommended that everyone 13–64 years old get tested for HIV at least once a year. Alpena’s District Health Department office will accept walk-ins tomorrow from 8:30-11:30 am and from 1:00- 3:15pm. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious ACC Holds Boot Camp for Anyone Interested in Welding and Cutting AutomationNext “Field Trip Friday”: Biking Through Alpena’s Bi-Pathlast_img read more

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Zambia name AFCON squad

first_imgZambia coach Herve Renard has named his 24-man squad as the team get their Africa Cup of Nations title defence up and running in the beginning of September.Chipolopolo defied the odds in January this year to edge pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast in the final, earning the African minnows their first ever AFCON title.The Zambians will now begin their title defence at home against Uganda in the first-leg of qualifying on September 8, followed by an away tie in Kampala on the weekend of October 12.Chris Kaunda retains the captain’s armband, while FC Utrecht striker Jacob Mulenga, Israeli based midfielder William Njobvu, FC Porto left back Emmanuel Mbola and reported Queens Park Rangers target Emmanuel Mayuka were all called up.“We are fully aware of the significance of this fixture,” Football Association of Zambia communications manager Erick Mwanza told SuperSport.“Our stated policy on preparing the Chipolopolo for competition matches is clear and has been very successful over the years. “The President of FAZ Kalusha Bwalya has repeatedly emphasised Football House commitment to giving he team the best possible preparations so that we can maintain the highest levels of competition.“We will be well prepared and ready for both games in Ndola and Kampala because our target is to go to South Africa for the defence of our crown.”Zambia squad:Kennedy Mweene (Free State Stars, RSA), Joshua Titima (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Danny Munyau (Red Arrows, Zambia), Davies Nkausu (SuperSport United, RSA), Emmanuel Mbola (FC Porto, Portugal), Joseph Musonda (Golden Arrows, RSA), Stoppila Sunzu (TP Mazembe, DRC), Hichani Himonde (TP Mazembe, DRC), Lawrence Phiri (FC Progresso, Angola), Chintu Kampamba (Bidvest Wits, RSA), Nathan Sinkala (TP Mazembe, DRC), William Njobvu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel), Thomas Nyirenda (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Noah Chivuta (Free State Stars, RSA), Isaac Chansa (Henan Jienye, China), Chisamba Lungu (FC Urals, Russia), Rainford Kalaba (TP Mazembe, DRC), Felix Katongo (Primero Agosto, Angola), Francis Kasonde (TP Mazembe, DRC), Chris Katongo (Henan Jienye, China), Jonas Sakuwaha (El Merreikh, Sudan), Jacob Mulenga (FC Utrecht, Netherlands), James Chamanga (Dalian Shide, China), Emmanuel Mayuka (Young Boys, Switzerland).last_img read more

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Sellas Tetteh makes Satellites return

first_imgSellas Tetteh has been appointed coach of the U-20 men’s national team, the Ghana Football Association has confirmed.He takes over from Black Stars assistant coach Maxwell Konadu, who acted in a temporal capacity and guided the team to qualify for next year’s African U-20 Championship.Sellas, who led Ghana to African and World title success in the 2009 U-20 Championships will lead the Black Satellites to the African finals in Algeria.Ghana will face hosts Algeria in Group A of the Africa U20 Championship.The Black Satellites are also drawn against Benin and Egypt in the group for the tournament in March.Title holders Nigeria will play Mali, Congo and Gabon as they bid to wrestle the title from the Flying Eagles. The Black Satellites will be based in the town of Ain Pemouchent while Group B will be in Oran.Ghana, three-time winners (1993, 1999 and 2009), will be making a ninth appearance.last_img read more

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Match Report:Hearts of Oak earn a point in Wa

first_imgAccra Hearts of Oak were outplayed for the first time in the second round of the Glo Premier League but lived a charmed life for 90 minutes to hold a marauding Wa All Stars team to a goalless drawn game in Wa this afternoon.The result is flattering for Hearts who nonetheless would take delight in the stoic defending by central defenders Nuru Sulley and Robin Gnagne. It was thanks to a combination of rugged defending by the duo and more crucially, dreadful shooting by the Wa All Stars attackers that Hearts return to Accra with a precious point from a grudge match whose outcome emphasized how difficult it has become to beat the Phobians in the second half of the season.Head Coach David Duncan made two changes to the side that beat Berekum Chelsea 3-0 last week. Abraziz Abankwa replaced Emmanuel Ansong at right back and Obed Ansah started up front with Thomas Abbey missing out on the team.Tetteh Luggard, in post for Hearts, went on to keep his third consecutive clean sheet for the first time this season. Owusu Bempah, Nuru Sulley and Robin Gnange together with new-entrant Abankwa filled the back four spots.Moro Abubakar and Stephen Tetteh anchored in midfield whilst Obed Ansah and Winful Cobbinah flanked them on the wings.Goal-scoring sensations Gilbert Fiamenyo and Mahatma Otoo led the line for Hearts. Wa All Stars started the game and immediately from kick-off they took the game to Hearts. Midfielder Stephen Tetteh’s attempted cross was charged down for a corner with the resulting kick going to waste.Gilbert Fiamenyo threaded Winful Cobbinah through with a delicate swing into the box but the young midfielder fluffed his shot.Wa All Stars overturned the game from then onwards. First, Michael Mensah shocked himself after he was put through on goal by Attakorah Gyimah but the striker blasted over the bar with Tetteh Luggard at his mercy in the 11th minute.Hearts of Oak’s midfield failed to click in the opening minutes as Wa All Stars won all the duels in the middle of the pitch.The home side’s superiority in midfield forced Hearts back but the Phobians survived a scare when three All Stars attackers took turns to miss a lurking ball in the Hearts penalty area. Michael Mensah and Paul Asare went close but they failed to find the net in the last 15 minutes of the first half. The former sent in a speculative shot that flew across the face of Tetteh Luggard’s goal and Paul Asare let Hearts off the hook when he shot just wide from close range with an empty beckoning him to find target.Wa All Stars upped the game as half time beckoned but they were often undone by poor finishing.Back from the break, Attakorah Gyimah went into Referee Prince Tawiah’s book after he dived on the edge of the box with Robin Gnange closing in five minutes into the second half.Obed Ansah gave way for Ashittey Ollenu in the 52nd minute and All Stars Paul Asare was taken off for Joseph Damson.Ollenu Ashittey, after good work on the flanks was brought down only to receive treatment for the knock as play was held for a minute. Wa All Stars earned a promising free-kick close to the Hearts box but Salifu Seidu missed the post by inches.Gilbert Fiamenyo who failed to make an impression on the day was substituted in the 70th minute for James Abban.The rock solid Robin Gnange was stretchered off for treatment having come out of an aerial duel the worse off.Shortly afterwards, a rare Hearts attack saw Ollenu Ashittey glide past two markers to find James Abban who centered for Mahatma Otoo but the leading scorer in the league shot over the upright after spinning clear from his markers.Abankwa was shown a yellow card for obstructing Joshua Otoo of Wa All Stars but the Hearts defense men held on tight at the back with the Wa side asking all the questions in the final 10 minutes of the game. A counter attack by Hearts was wasted as James Abban shot across the face of goal with Mahatma Otoo lurking in good position in the box.Wa All Stars went berserk and attacked from all angles in the dying minutes of the game. A free-kick by Salifu Seidu grazed the cross bar as the Referee blew the final whistle of the game.Hearts had survived the relentless Wa All Stars attack, but they scrapped through the hot weather to maintain a grip on the seventh spot on the league log.A short break in the league ensues as the FA Cup semi-finals take centre stage in a fortnight’s time.HEARTS XI v WA ALL STARS: Tetteh Luggard; A. Abankwa, Owusu Bempah, Nuru Sulley, Robin Gnagne; Moro Abubakr, Winful Cobbinah, Stephen Tetteh, Obed Ansah ( 52′ Ashittey Ollenu); Gilbert Fiamenyo (’70 James Abban), Mahatma Otoo (c ).Unused substitutes: Clement Ashiettey (GK); Emmanuel Ansong, Ali Alhassan, Isaac Mensah, Kofi Abanga.last_img read more

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New Dortmund signing faster than Bolt over 30m

first_imgBorussia Dortmund’s new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has clocked a faster time in sprint training than Olympic champion Usain Bolt ran when he set the world record in 2009.The 24-year-old Aubameyang clocked 3.7secs over 30m during sprint training with the Champions League finalists this week, while Bolt ran 3.78sec over the same distance when he set the world 100m record of 9.58secs in Berlin in 2009.“Pierre is definitely the fastest player who has ever played for us,” Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc told German daily Bild.The Gabon international is not only fleet-footed, as he proved scoring 41 goals and setting up a further 28, in 120 games for former club St Etienne.He cost Dortmund 13 million euros (US$17m) from the French Cup winners.“We’re going to have a lot of fun playing alongside him,” said Dortmund’s Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.But Jamaica’s sprint star may not be too happy that Dortmund have signed Aubameyang: Bolt is a fan of European champions Bayern Munich and friends with their Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger. The 26-year-old sprinter is often in Munich as a patient of Bayern’s team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt.last_img read more

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Big Match Preview: Olympics v Hearts – stats, team news and buildup

first_imgJoy Sports previews Sunday’s big fixture between Hearts and Great Olympics.Olympics will be playing at home at the Accra Sports Stadium and die-hards will know this is game that has been missed since it was last seen in 2008/09 season.Olympics got relegated that season and the capital has been robbed of this historic clash.The buildup this time has been huge, especially in Accra. Olympics board member Fred Pappoe is rubbishing the talk that puts Hearts’ form in Africa in good stead.”They are not in that kind of form. They’re saying it to satisfy themselves but they are not in any kind of form. We don’t respect any form of Accra Hearts of Oak,” he told Joy Sports.AT STAKE That may be true, because in the league Hearts remain ninth. But the points spread means that although Olympics are 13th on the table, a win will take them above their city rivals.Hearts’ lead forward is Gilbert Fiamenyo. He has eight goals in 13 league games. “I want to assure Hearts of Oak fans that they will smile after the game against Olympics because we will beat them, we will not even play out a draw game with them because our target is to go for the three points,” he told Asempa FM. The big striker went on: “We have heard Olympics players bragging but we will not tone the same line with them, we want the fans to come to the stadium to witness what we did in Mali against Djoliba and surely we will beat Olympics.” “I don’t know what will happen on the day because since I joined Hearts of Oak three years ago I have not played the Accra derby game before,” Fiamenyo added. It’s not just that. The 22-year-old is looking to get back to the top of the charts after Medeama’s Nathaniel Asamoah took over in the last fortnight with nine goals.VETERANSRichard Kingson last played in this fixture in 1996, and conceded a great goal from the incomparable Shamo Quaye. He is relishing a return to the game that used to bring Accra to standstill. “I’m confident that we will beat Hearts. It  is a game we are looking up to and with the determination in camp we will get the three points,” Kingson told Olympics TV. Two other veterans of the game are billed to start for Olympics: ex-Black Star Godwin Attram and Dan Quaye – who made his name with Hearts. THE NUMBERSThe head to head for the two clubs makes for good reading – These sides have played 88 league games, with Hearts of winning 38, whiles Gt. Olympics have managed 22 league victories and 28 have end in draws.– The last time the Wonder club defeated the Phobians in a league game was 2004, when they edged them 3-2.-Hearts of Oak have won their last three league games against Gt. Olympics. – They have engaged each other in 32 premier league games, with Hearts of Oak winning 11, losing 5 and drawing 12 against Gt. Olympics in encounters which date back to the 1993/94 season.-These sides have had three of their league encounters ended abruptly, due to the fierce rivalry between them.TRIVIA– Great Olympics are undefeated in their last three league games, winning two and drawing one, while Hearts of Oak are expected to translate their super form in the CAF Confederations Cup into the Ghana Premier League.– Hearts are undefeated in all their five games in Africa, but their performance is inconsistent on the domestic scene. – Hearts marksman Gilbert Fiamenyo is on 8 league goals, with Doetse Agbashie having scored 4 league goals for the ‘Wonder Club’–Compiled by Gary Al-Smith: @garyalsmith on Twitterlast_img read more

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