Los Angeles Galaxy have confirmed the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United agreed to the mutual termination of Ibrahimovic's contract on Thursday, paving the way for the 36-year-old Sweden striker to complete his move to California.
Ibrahimovic says he is convinced the switch to Major League Soccer club Galaxy is the ideal move.
I decided to sign with Galaxy because I think it's the right place for me," he said.
I think I have a lot to give, I can help them a lot. It's the best team in the US. There were no doubts."
In typically flamboyant fashion, Ibrahimovic took out a full-page advert in Friday's LA Times in advance of a formal announcement from Galaxy.
A league title winner in four different countries, Ibrahimovic left hometown club Malmo for Ajax in 2001. He went on to play for Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain before joining United in 2016.
He made 53 appearances for United, scoring 29 goals, the last of which came in the EFL Cup defeat to Bristol City in December. Ibrahimovic played an instrumental role in United's EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs last season.
"Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history."
A United statement read: "Everyone at the club would like to thank Zlatan for his contribution to the team since his arrival and wishes him well for the future."
Ibrahimovic has retired from international football but is considering making a return for the World Cup in Russia this summer.
The MLS season, meanwhile, is already underway and Ibrahimovic's first game could be live on Sky Sports when LA Galaxy play local rivals LA FC on March 31.
Wagamama and Marriott among companies fined for failing to pay minimum wage
Wagamama and TGI Friday's have been named and shamed by the government alongside hotel giants, charities and football clubs for failing to pay workers the national minimum wage.
The high street restaurants are among 179 companies fined a total of £1.3 million for underpaying 9,200 employees.
Other offenders include Marriott, Stoke City Football Club, Birmingham City Football Club and rugby clubs St Helens and London Irish.
Charity the National Society For Epilepsy was also named on the list which was topped by Wagamama who failed to pay £133,212 to 2,630 workers - the most of any of the companies identified.
TGI Friday's shortchanged 2,302 of its staff by £59,348 while Marriott failed to pay £71,723 to 279 workers, according to figures released by the Business Department.
Failing to pay workers for travelling between jobs, not paying overtime, and deducting money for uniforms were some of the reasons for the underpayments.
Business minister Andrew Griffiths said: "There are no excuses for shortchanging workers.
"This is an absolute red line for this government and employers who cross it will get caught - not only are they forced to pay back every penny but they are also fined up to 200% of wages owed.
"Today's naming round serves as a sharp reminder to employers to get their house in order ahead of minimum wage rate rises on April 1."
On that date, the National Living Wage will go up from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour.
A TGI Fridays spokesperson said: "To confirm, TGI Fridays does pay the National Minimum Wage hourly rate.
"The total figure quoted in today's HMRC list relates to reimbursing team members a shoe allowance.
"This is a historic payment which was paid last year, and we have since reimbursed team members for the purchase of their black uniform shoes."
A Stoke City spokesman said: "Once this matter was brought to our attention we moved swiftly to repay the money to the members of staff concerned.
"The issue arose from our now historical practice of allowing staff to pay for tickets and retail merchandise voluntarily purchased from the club via deduction from their monthly salaries, for which the employees gave written permission for deductions to be made."
A spokesman for Marriott said the company "is committed to compliance with the national minimum wage", adding: "When an error was identified by a routine HMRC audit in 2015, we cooperated fully with HMRC and promptly reimbursed all those affected.
"We apologise to all our associates impacted by this error and have taken steps to ensure it cannot happen again."
Wagamama responded by saying that it has always paid minimum wage and makes sure that staff receive 100% of their tips.
"This was an inadvertent misunderstanding of how the minimum wage regulations apply to uniforms and as soon as we were made aware of this in 2016 we acted immediately to correct the position," it said.
The full list of employers named for National Minimum Wage underpayment
- Wagamama Limited
- Marriott Hotels Limited
- Thursday (UK) Limited (TFI Fridays)
- National Society For Epilepsy
- Wright Leisure Limited
- Ms Sarah Jane Bowman and Ms Annabel Garland Farnell-Watson
- Seashells Limited
- Bridge End House Nursery Limited
- Globebrow Limited
- Moy Park Limited
- Daniele Petteno Ltd
- Beautiful Spots Limited
- Threshold Housing Project Limited
- Heather Park Community Services Limited
- 1st Pizza Direct Limited
- 4Fashions Ltd
- Wilson's Country Limited
- Lickfold Inn Limited
- North London Asian Care
- Witham Hand Car Wash Ltd
- Karen Millen Fashions Limited
- Mr Muhammad Adnan Safdar and Mrs Khadija Javaid
- Mr Akbor Miah
- Albury Estate Fisheries (2008) Limited
- Atkins Hotels Limited
- Adactus Housing Group Limited
- Meejana Limited
- Summer Lodge Management Limited
- Davies Security Limited
- Oakfield Caravan Park Limited
- Pentlow Community Care Limited
- Birmingham City Football Club plc
- St Helens Rugby Football Club Limited
- Mr David Wilson, Mrs Doreen Wilson and Mr Darren Wilson
- Smart Hand Car Wash Plymouth Ltd
- A1 Care Services Limited
- Jeta Car Wash Ltd
- Cost Effective Catering Limited
- SB Patel Ltd
- Plymouth Car Wash Ltd
- Handy Andy Car Wash Ponteland Limited
- Mr Lee Harris and Mr David Wilson
- Home Life Carers Limited
- Simonstone Ltd
- SSL Foodservice Ltd
- A2 Car Wash Limited
- Pink Innovations Ltd
- The Blue Bicycle (York) Limited
- The Care Bureau Limited
- Box & Charnock Limited
- Red Arrow Fulfilment Limited
- Foxlowe Trading Company Limited
- Hideaway Day Nursery Limited
- Headromance Ltd
- QCS Contract Cleaning Ltd
- Mr Nigel Birch and Mrs Sarah Shotton
- Trinity Pre-School
- Mr Wayne Gray and Mrs Margaret Gray
- Busy Bee Montessori Nursery School Limited
- SBDP1 Limited
- Tayto Group Limited
- Impact Call Centre Limited
- 4th Generation (NW) Limited
- A Johnson Construction Limited
- Thurlestone Estates Limited
- Lakemere Green Limited
- Universal United Commerce Limited
- Patisserie Patchi Limited
- Mr Mahendra Davda
- Stef and Stan Ltd
- I Can Day Nurseries Limited
- Holbrook Academy
- Nath Stores Limited
- Vickers Construction Limited
- Manor House Hotel (Oakehampton) Limited
- Extra Care for Elderly People Limited
- Rootcroft Limited
- Little Footprints Nursery Limited
- Marcandi Limited
- Clean as a Whistle Super Hand Car Wash Ltd
- Lyndhurst School
- Ms Lorna O'Donnell
- Twinkles (Leeds) Limited
- Ritcin Limited
- Cedar Tree Care Home Ltd
- Dan Skelton Racing Limited
- Fast Car wash Ltd
- G.Purchase Construction Limited
- Dr Baber Ghafoor and Dr S A Abbasi
- Feather and Black
- ADI Hand Car Wash Ltd
- Independent Community Care Management Limited
- Crystal Knitwear Limited
- Georgie Porgy's Pre-School Ltd
- Stoke City Football Club Limited
- Parkers Mini Buses (Ellesmere Port) Limited
- Fosters Bakery (Staincross) Limited
- James Ritchie Clocks (established 1809) Ltd
- Poppies WL & S Limited
- Rudan Knightsbridge Limited
- Achieving Excellence UK Ltd
- Focus Food Services Limited
- Mr Peter Watts
- Days Poole Limited
- Europa Foods Distribution Limited
- Grade House Limited
- Alison Margaret Smith
- Mrs Angela Fox
- Redhill Service Centre Limited
- Shoe Zone Retail Limited
- Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited
- RPP Wood Green Ltd
- Mrs Lisa Chakir
- Mrs Jacqueline Young
- Mr George Hanson and Mr James Hanson
- Express Vision (UK) Ltd
- Sanjay Foods (UK) Limited
- Indulge Me Limited
- Mr Christopher James Hill
- Bush House Pembroke Limited
- Miss Zoe MacDonald
- VF Cash & Carry Limited
- MRN Recruitment Limited
- Gloss Hairdressing Limited
- Rainbow Brite Cleaning Services Limited
- The Urban Chocolatier Limited
- Edworthy Computing Limited
- Mumtaz Leeds Limited
- East Lancashire Services Limited
- Plaistow Broadway Filling Stations Limited
- NTCDucting.com Limited
- Mr Ali Qerimi
- Moulsham Residential Home (Chelmsford) Limited
- Blaxills Fitted Furniture Limited
- Miss Tracey Henry
- Cragwood International Limited
- Step Up Security Services Ltd
- Mr Shahzad Iqbal Kiyani
- D K Leisure Ltd
- Clear-View Fife Limited
- Capital (Hair and Beauty) Limited
- Saramago Ltd
- McClarance Services Limited
- Entier Limited
- DSM N.E. Ltd
- Darren Dickie
- Biddall Leisure Limited
- Legal Square Ltd
- Neath Road Car Sales & Car Wash Ltd
- Mr Shakil Shah
- Jackson Gray Limited
- Mrs Elaine Phillips and Mr Mitchell Phillips
- Maxine Adams
- 4TheHouse Limited
- Ari Pizza Ltd
- Hales Group Limited
- Mariner Travel Limited
- P&P Duff (Scotland) Limited
- Grand Union Company Limited
- Mr Ahmed Faalzada
- Ducati Manchester Limited
- Ms Fiona Latham
- Tsang's Kitchen Ltd
- Mr Nicholas Tsaroullas, Mr John Yiamokis Tsaroullas and Mrs Kyriacou Tsaroullas
- GAF Foods Limited
- Tanna's Limited
- P&A Food Management Services Limited
- Mr Tino Cernera
- Mrs Carole Bentley
- Yeovil Football & Athletic Club (The)
- Casa Bianco Limited
- Ms Karly Skerman and Mr Ray Booth
- Orchard Care (South West) Limited
- Always Cleaning Limited
- Mr Hamid Noori
- London Irish Scottish Richmond Limited
- Mr Sean Hornby
- SM News Limited
- Riverside Pizza Company Limited
Governor El-Rufai says new Kaduna teachers failed letter writing test.
The governor said some teachers had tried to cheat their way through the recruitment process.
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that some of the new teachers being recruited by the government could not write a basic letter of acceptance.
While speaking at the "Governance Matters" roundtable organised by Development Alternative Incorporation (DAI) on Thursday, March 8, 2018, the governor said the new hires were disqualified after it was discovered they tried to cheat their way to employment.
He said, "Even some of the new teachers we tried to recruit tried to game the system. We gave those that passed letters of appointments and a plain sheet of paper to write a simple letter of acceptance and some could not. It was clear they didn't write the tests themselves."
The governor further vowed that his administration will intensify its effort to fix the education system in the state regardless of the political costs.
Kaduna's controversial mass sacking
El-Rufai has been involved in a bitter clash with the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna after he controversially sacked 21,780 primary school teachers who failed a competency test organised by the state government
Of the 33,000 primary school teachers who sat for the examination conducted by the state's Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), only 11,220 passed the exercise.
After issuing a one-month notice to the failed teachers to prepare for disengagement from service, the Kaduna State Executive Council approved the immediate commencement of the process of recruiting 25,000 new primary school teachers.
In reaction to the dismissal, several protests sprung up across the state resulting in a violent attack on lawmakers and vandalisation of properties worth millions at the state's House of Assembly complex.
On January 8, 2018, the state's chapter of the NUT embarked on an indefinite strike that was called off 10 days later.
7 things you should know about the Lagos Land Use Charge
The Law, which was reviewed by the Lagos State House of Assembly and signed into Law by Governor Ambode on Feb. 8 was a merger of all Property and Land Based Rates and Charges in the state.
Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday, March 5, 2018, passed the Land Use Charge into law to further enhance the economy of the state.
The bill was also sent to the Lagos state Governor for assent by the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, according to reports.
Speaking on the Land Use Charge during the Lagos State means Business forum which held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Ambode said that the “revised Land Use Charge Law requires owner-occupiers to pay just 0.076 per cent, pensioners, churches, mosques, non-governmental organisations and government institutions are exempted from payment.”
"The law was made in 2001. It provides that every five years, we should review it and also find a way to increase. 15 years after in 2017, the law has never been reviewed.
“Now, the question is this; those who are having commercial properties, the rental income they were getting in 2002 as against the rental income they are getting in 2017, is it the same?
“The level of infrastructure that existed in 2002 as against what has happened in the last 15 years, are they the same? Did it not come at a cost?
“So, why is the market value of the property that you built with one million naira, 15 years after, you are selling at N20million.
“Why do you think somebody who is a buyer will pay N20million for it? Is it not because of the facilities around the property? So, we have to sacrifice; that is how it works everywhere,” the Governor added.
The Land Use Charge hasn't come without controversy especially with the inclusion of the Alpha Beta company in the law.
While the debate rages on social media about the Land Use Charge, here are 7 things to know about it.
Here are the 7 things you need to know about the Land Use Charge
1. The law that supports the Land Use Charge was enacted in 2001.
2. The Lagos State Land Use Charge (LUC) is a consolidation of all property and land based rates and charges payable under Lands Rates, Neighbourhood Improvement Charge and Tenement Rates Laws of Lagos State.
3. It was designed to help the government generate additional revenue needed to develop the state in the light of increasing demand for provision of urban and rural infrastructure and other expenditure.
4. Properties that are exempted from the operation of the law are government-owned properties, and other properties used for public, religious and charitable activities.
5. The exemption will be approved only if an application for exemption is made to the Lagos State Commissioner of Finance.
6. The Land Use Charge is an annual tax which is payable from the first day of every new year.
7. Refuses or neglects to comply with any provision of this Law when required to do so by the Property Identification Officer or an Assessor, commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of two hundred and fifty thousand Naira only (₦250,000) or to a maximum term of imprisonment for a period of three (3) months or both.
Lagos offer extends Land Use Charge promo till April
The Lagos State Government recently announced that it has extended the period for tax payers to enjoy discount of 15 per cent on Land Use Charge (LUC) demand notices for 2018 to April 14, 2018.
The State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, said at a news conference in Lagos that this was applicable to payments made within 15 days of receipt of demand notice.
The Law, which was reviewed by the Lagos State House of Assembly and signed into Law by Governor Ambode on Feb. 8 was a merger of all Property and Land Based Rates and Charges in the state.
N'Golo Kante did not feature in Chelsea's match against Premier League leaders Manchester City at the weekend after fainting at the club's training ground, reports said on Tuesday.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper said shocked team-mates feared the France international had suffered a heart problem when he briefly passed out after training on Friday.
It said a Chelsea doctor was on the scene within seconds of Kante slumping to one side in the dressing room at the club's Cobham training ground southwest of London.
The 26-year-old was given the all-clear after cardiology tests, the report said, and Kante travelled with the squad to Manchester for Sunday's match. He was cleared to play but felt unwell on Sunday morning.
The midfielder was back in training on Monday and is expected to be available for Saturday's Premier League home game against Crystal Palace.
Kante's health scare came two days before Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori, 31, was found dead in his hotel room in Udine.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who coached Astori when he was in charge of the Italian national team, said the player's death was a "tragedy".
Why Real Madrid and World Cup Football 'Icon' Could End Up in Jail
Real Madrid's star midfielder Luka Modric could go to jail for up to five years for perjury. Modric will captain Croatia in the World Cup in Russia this summer but many of the country's fans loathe him for his links to two brothers who dominate the nation's football.
Modric is being investigated for lies he allegedly told the Croatian authorities about his sale from Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham Hotspur.
The 32-year-old midfielder's name cropped up as prosecutors in Osijek investigated the affairs of Zdravko Mamic, a former director of Dinamo, whose family is said to hold a sinister influence over Croatian football.
Mamic, who survived an assassination attempt in August last year, is accused of embezzlement and tax fraud in Croatia.
"Zdravko Mamic and his brother are definitely the most hated men in Croatia. Very few people support them and Modric's popularity has definitely suffered," Croatian-American football fan Anthony Zoric told Sputnik.
"It's a tricky situation. I love watching Luka on the pitch. He's our best player. Personally I don't think a player should ever be put in the position he was in at Dinamo," Mr. Zoric told Sputnik.
If convicted of perjury Modric — who plays alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu — could face up to five years in prison in Zagreb.
Transfer to Tottenham Under Spotlight
In testimony to the court in June last year Modric said he had a deal with Mamic to pay Dinamo 50 percent of the 26 million euro (US$32 million) contract with Tottenham when he signed for the British club in 2008.
But prosecutors claim there was no legal contract and it was a private deal which was backdated only after the player had already been sold to the London club.
Modric is set to lead the Croatian national team at the World Cup in Russia in June and the Croatian football federation said it would stand by him.
"We believe that in this process he will prove his innocence as well as groundlessness of the charges," the federation said.
"Most Croatians want Croatia to do well in the World Cup. We have a very special generation of players and this will be their last chance to accomplish something," Mr. Zoric told Sputnik.
Croatia Fans Dream of Re-Run of 1998 World Cup
He said Croatian football fans were dreaming of a run like the team had at the 1998 World Cup, where Croatia made it as far as the semi-finals before being knocked out by the hosts and eventual winners, France.
Mamic, his brother and two others are accused of embezzling 15 million euros ($18 million) from Dinamo and not paying 1.6 million euros ($2 million) in taxes relating to transfers.
Another transfer which was investigated was the sale of defender Dejan Lovren to Lyon in France. He has since moved to Liverpool, who are currently second in the English Premier League.
Many Croatian football fans consider the Mamic family to be a baleful influence and the trial is being seen as a test of whether Croatia's judiciary can tackle the allegedly endemic corruption in the game.
But Mamic gave a press conference at Dinamo's stadium last week at which he laid into the prosecutors, the state's attorney's office and even Croatian basketball star Dino Rada.
"You are crazy to prosecute Zdravko Mamic and an icon of Croatian football, Luka Modric…I come to you with with concrete answers, paperwork and I do not hide behind anyone," Mamic rambled during a diatribe against the lead prosecutor Dinko Cvitan.
Croatia supporters pose for a picture during the Euro 2016 group D football match between Croatia and Spain at at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux on June 21, 2016
Mamic has a lot of allies at the Croatian football federation and their executive committee recently gave him a clean bill of health.
"My great victory and satisfaction is that the executive committee concluded that Zdravko Mamic did not harm Dinamo but has worked for their good fortune," Mamic said in last week's press conference.
Mamic Survived Assassination Attempt
In August last year, while visiting his ancestral home village in Herzegovina, two masked gunmen emerged from the bushes and fired at Mamic.
He was wounded in the leg but the 58-year-old played down the incident.
Croatian football has long been dominated by Dinamo Zagreb and their arch-rivals Hajduk Split, both clubs which were formed long before the demise of Yugoslavia, but Mr. Zoric said Dinamo fans hate Mamic as much as Hajduk supporters.
Dinamo won the national league 11 times in succession until last season when HNK Rijeka beat them to the title.
Modric has recently returned from injury and will be in the Real team to play Paris St Germain in the Champions' League on Tuesday.
Wenger told his coaching staff after Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Brighton.
Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has told his coaching staff at the club that he will not step aside this summer.
The 68-year-old Frenchman is under intense pressure to quit at the end of the season after the Gunners’ latest run of poor results.
Arsenal have lost 6 of their last eight games, which included a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.
Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Brighton has left Arsenal with an uphill battle to secure a top-four finish.
Arsenal are currently 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with only nine Premier League games to go.
Wenger will still have one year remaining on his contract with the Gunners this summer.
A source at the Emirate Stadium told The Times, UK, that the Frenchman has informed his staff that he does not intend to resign at the end of the season.
According to the source, Wenger is also unwilling to agree an early exit this summer, which means Arsenal’s board will have to take the decision to sack him.
Asked by British reporters if he is the man to improve Arsenal after the defeat to Brighton, Wenger replied, “Yes, because I have done it before.
“It’s the first time I lost so many games on the trot in my life. I believe the quality of a manager is to try and shorten the crisis. I believe I can do it.”