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Barcelona and Rakuten extend partnership for 2021/22 Season

Rakuten has renewed its partnership with the Spanish football giant, Barcelona for an additional season.

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FC Barcelona has extended its sports sponsorship deal with Rakuten, a global leader in internet services headquartered in Japan, for the 2020/21 season.

The Japanese e-commerce firm, Rakuten will remain as FC Barcelona’s Main Global Partner and Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner, and its brand name will continue to appear on the front of the first team shirt in the 2021/22 season.

The deal began in the 2017-18 season and is due to expire on June 30, 2021. The deal has an option of a fifth year which was available in the original agreement that was executed.

The deal was activated by Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board, before Josep’s resignation in October, and the deal is not reviewable by whoever wins the forthcoming election.

The initial agreement was €55million per year but can rise to €61.5million should all bonuses triggered by winning the Laliga and the Champions League be fulfilled. However, according to reports, the agreement has been reduced due to the financial impact of a post-covid world.

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SPORTS

Anthony Joshua to earn up to £15 miliom against Oleksandr Usyk

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WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua is set to face off against Ukrainian Olympics medalist and former unified cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk tonight at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London where over 60,000 fans are predicted to be in attendance, according to SportingNews.

The fight could be one of the toughest fights in Joshua’s career and this would be his second time defending his belt after he reclaimed them from Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch at Saudi Arabia after he suffered the first loss of his career.

The winner of the bout between Joshua and Usyk might likely face off Tyson Fury, the WBC and The Ring champion, or Deontay Wilder. This contest will be the last fight of Joshua’s multi-million-pound deal with Sky, who have shown all 25 of AJ’s professional fights.

How much would Anthony Joshua likely earn from the bout?

Joshua and Usyk are the second-and fourth-ranked fighters in the heavyweight division, according to ESPN, and established champions, so the payday for each competitor is also expected to be substantial.

In AJ’s last contest against Kubrat Pulev in December 2020, he earned around £10 million which was majorly caused by the pandemic where he had fought in front of fewer fans in attendance.

According to Totalsportal, Joshua is set to earn around £10 million guaranteed plus share of PPV sales. If the bout sells around 450,000 pay-per-view buys in the U. K, Joshua could make £15 million, while Usyk is set to earn around £3 million guaranteed plus PPV sales and could earn around £1-2 million from PPV sales. This would be the biggest purse of Usyk’s career.

It is unclear what the split of the pay-per-view percentage will be for this bout, but Sporting Free reported the total could be 60 percent for Joshua and 40 percent for Usyk.

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Police raid FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou, ex-President, three others arrested

Spanish police raided the headquarters of F.C. Barcelona, seizing evidence and detaining four people.

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Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional police force has carried out a search on Monday morning on all the offices of the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona and reportedly arrested four people in the process.

The raid carried out by the Police was in search of evidence in relation to the “Barcagate” social media scandal that happened in February, where the Catalan giants allegedly paid third party companies to produce disparaging contents about some people including former players that are opposed and critical of former president, Bartomeu’s administration. A similar raid was also carried out in the club last year June.

The companies allegedly hired by the Spanish giants include I3 Ventures SL, NSG Social Science Ventures SL, Tantra Soft SA, Digital Side SA, Big Data Solutions SA and Futuric SA. There were allegations made that I3 Ventures SL were behind fake social media accounts despising as Barcelona fans that produced disparaging contents about the likes of Victor Font, the club’s presidential candidate. It also attacked high profile players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique and also former players like Xavi, Guardiola, etc.

According to reports, those arrested were former Barcelona president, Josep Bartomeu; the club’s chief executive, Oscar Grau; Roman Gomez Ponti, the head of legal services and Jaume Masferrer, an adviser to Bartomeu. The decision to arrest them was not the court’s decision. The arrests were made by the exclusive decision of the Mossos d’Esquadra. The Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona which is in charge of the case only ordered for a search.

The Catalan giants have been mired in political turmoil and debt prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and this further stains the club’s image.

The raid comes less than a week before the club’s presidential elections are to be held which is coming up on March 7. Three candidates – Victor Font, Joan Laporta and Toni Freia – are on the final ballot for the crucial vote.

In a statement, Barcelona has offered to give their full collaboration regarding the ongoing investigations.

The club stated: “Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation.

“The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case.

“FC Barcelona express its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation.”

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Arsenal star, Aubameyang fined $10,000 by CAF for social media posts

CAF has slapped Arsenal captain and Gabonese striker, Pierre Aubameyang with a fine over “offensive” social media comments.

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Arsenal Captain, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, has been slapped with a fine by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after his posts on social media were deemed “offensive and degrading”, by the governing body.

Last month, during the international break, the Arsenal star posted a string of stories on his Instagram handle when he and his teammates were delayed in the airport for more than five hours ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against The Gambia.

The delay led to them sleeping on the floor in the airport and eventually when they left, they had only 10 hours to the match and lost the match 2-1 against The Gambia.

The Arsenal star went ahead and posted a series of photos on his Instagram handle where he wrote:

“Since 11.30pm. still waiting in Gambia and we play tomorrow at 4pm.”

“Nice job CAF, it’s as if we were back in the 1990s.”

“This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF needs to take responsibility. (It is) 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there.”

A statement from CAF read: “Mr. Pierre Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang has publicly published offensive and degrading material that undermines the honor and image of the Confederation of African Football.”

In terms of Articles 10, 11, 43.1, 46, 82 of the Disciplinary Code. “The CAF Disciplinary Board decided to impose a fine of 10,000 USD for breach of the values of sportsmanship and integrity on the Gabonese Football Federation for the regrettable behavior of the player.”

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