LONDON (AP): Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez became the first African to be named English football’s player of the year yesterday, straight after the Algerian helped his team close in on the Premier League title. Mahrez was flown by helicopter to the Professional Footballers’ Association ceremony in London after scoring his 17th goal of Leicester’s astonishing title charge as the leaders beat Swansea 4-0 at the King Power Stadium in central England. Mahrez was on a six-man shortlist including Leicester teammates Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante for the vote of their fellow professionals in English football. “I’m very grateful to receive this award,” Mahrez said. “It’s extra special because if the players vote for me, it’s because they’ve seen I’ve been great this year, so I’m happy. But it’s more team things. Without my teammates, I wouldn’t get this award.” The 25-year-old Mahrez is only the second winner of the PFA award from outside England. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez won it in 2014 while playing for Liverpool. Unlike Suarez, Mahrez was an unknown when he moved to England two years ago, joining Leicester from second tier French side Le Havre for less than 500,000 pounds. The transfer now seems one of the best bargains ever in English football, where the record fee is the 59.7 million pounds that Manchester United paid for Angel Di Maria in 2014 before selling the winger the following year. Mahrez has provided inventiveness and flair to Leicester’s attacking play, contributing not only goals but also 11 assists to help transform a team that fought for Premier League survival last season. Now a guaranteed starter, Mahrez was an unused substitute this weekend a year ago when Leicester beat Burnley to finally escape the relegation zone. Leicester started the season as a 5,000-1 title outsider but is now set to become English football’s first maiden championship winner since Nottingham Forest in 1978. “The secret has been team spirit,” Mahrez said. “We work so hard for each other. We are like brothers, it’s everywhere on the pitch. That’s our strength.”
– concerned State losing revenue to inaccurately categorised minersThe Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has recommended in its first report on Guyana’s extractive sector that a wholesale review be done to weed out wrongly categorized miners.According to the organization in its recently released report, this is because thousands of acres of mining permits have been awarded to claimants on a scale that should be considered large scale. Large scale permits involve higher rental fees and more revenue to the state. But the report states that in some cases this is not happening.“We note that several mining permits, covering plots in the same location as per GGMC list of permits, had been awarded on the same date to the same applicant following the award process of medium scale mining permits instead of following the award process for large-scale mining licenses.”“The total combined acreage of several mining permits awarded during FY 2017 to a same applicant exceeded 1,200 acres which is the maximum surface for a medium scale mining permit. If these plots had been combined, they would have exceeded 1,200-acre threshold and would have been categorized as being “large scale tenures,” it also states.Besides paying higher rental fees, EITI pointed out that large scale permit holders also have to go through more stringent license award procedures. These procedures include requiring further approvals from other Government Agencies. According to EITI, this oversight may cost the state a large sum of money per year.“Additionally, the list of active mining permits shows that several plots were held by the same extractive entity and within the same location. The combined surfaces of these mining permits exceed 1,200-acre threshold in several instances.”“Such mining permit holders may need to be categorized as large-scale extractive operators as defined by the current legislation whenever it is established that the relating plots run consecutively one after the other. The annual rental fees due by large scale operators is USD 3 per acre as opposed to USD 1 per acre for medium scale mining operators.”The EITI therefore recommended a review and an update of the list of current active mining permits in order to ensure all are in compliance with the definition of the large scale mining license.In a press release after the EITI report was completed, however, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) had staunchly refuted the finding of the report. According to the association, only a small percentage of the mining lands have been mined.“From reviewing the report, the author of the report apparently thought that the entire 1200 acres are mineralized and has gold and as such, by separating the permits the government and people of Guyana (are) being short-changed.”“This is far from the case. The large-scale companies receive Investment Development Agreement (IDA) where duty free is granted for equipment, fuel, spares etc. which more than compensate for the extra fees. Medium scale permit holders are paying for most of the land and of which only 5 per cent is mined,” GGDMA had claimed.As of December 31, 2018, total gold declarations from all sources amount to 613,073 ounces, which was 6.22 per cent lower than the figures from 2017.Additionally, the foreign exchange value of exports processed on behalf of dealers and the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) came to US$443,961,666.The Guyana Gold Board has meanwhile projected that for 2019, declarations and exportations will be at 651,000 ounces.
While handing the national flag to the team, President Kenyatta told the players and the technical team to be good ambassadors for the country even if they do not win the trophy.“It is not about winning but giving your best. That is the most important thing. You are out there flying the Kenyan flag,” said the President.Kenya’s qualification and participation in AFCON is a major milestone for the country whose sports profile is on the rise. Photo/PSCUThe team which leaves the country Friday morning, will be based at Marcoussis, south of Paris where they will pitch their training camp.During their stay in France, Harambee Stars will play two friendly matches against Madagascar and DR Congo before heading out to Cairo for the games.It is the first time in 15 years that Harambee Stars is participating in the biannual event. The team was last at the championship in 2004.Harambee Stars head coach Sebastian Migne thanked President Kenyatta for ensuring that the team received full support through the National Sports Fund.“We endeavour to represent the country well. Thank you for your support,” said the coach who leads a 27-member team for the tournament in Egypt.President Kenyatta signing the ball with Harambee Stars players ahed of AFCONThe President assured the team of continued support saying Kenya’s comeback to the continental tournament marks an important milestone for the country.“A journey begins with a single step. The sports fund is the first step in ensuring that all our national teams are properly funded and supported,” said the President.Kenya will open its campaign against Algeria on June 23 before facing neighbours Taifa Stars of Tanzania on June 27 followed by Senegal on July 1.Harambee Stars team posing for a photo with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House. PHOTO/PSCUBefore qualifying for the championship, Harambee Stars played return matches against Ghana, Ethiopia and one leg away to banned Sierra Leon finishing second in qualification group C.Sports , Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed who accompanied the team to State House said her ministry had disbursed over Ksh244 million to Football Kenya Federation to facilitate AFCON preparations.0Shares0000(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars winger Paul Were with President Uhuru KenyattaNAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday challenged Harambee Stars to represent the country well as they prepare to take on African giants in the 2019 continental showpiece slatted for Egypt in June.The President spoke when he flagged off the team at State House, Nairobi ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations which will to be held between June 21 to July 19.