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Ryan Giggs cleared over former girlfriend assault charges

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Former Manchester United footballer and ex-Wales manager Ryan Giggs has been cleared of allegations he assaulted his ex-girlfriend and her sister.

It comes after charges were withdrawn by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Giggs, 48, has always denied assault and controlling or coercive behaviour towards Kate Greville, 38, and assaulting her sister Emma.

Judge Hilary Manley directed that he was not guilty on all three counts.

The retrial had been due to start at Manchester Crown Court on 31 July.

Jurors failed to reach verdicts following more than 20 hours of deliberations after his four-week trial in August last year.

Mr Giggs was not in court on Tuesday as the judge had agreed he did not need to attend.

‘Taken its toll’
Prosecutor Peter Wright KC told Manchester Crown Court that the CPS were not now proceeding with the case.

He said Kate Greville had “indicated an unwillingness” to give evidence in a retrial as giving evidence in the first one had “taken its toll” on her and her sister.

Mr Wright said: “This is not a decision taken lightly.

“In this case, Ms Greville and her sister Emma gave evidence over a number of days in a case when there was considerable media and public interest, and it is that particularly that’s taken its toll on them, in particular Kate Greville.”

Mr Wright said there had been “protracted” efforts to find out why she was unwilling to co-operate with a second trial but prosecuting lawyers did not think it appropriate to issue a witness summons to compel her to give evidence for a second time.

He said there was no realistic prospect of conviction on count one of coercive and controlling behaviour, and it was no longer in the public interest to proceed to prosecute on the other charges of assault on Ms Greville and her sister.

He added: “That being the case, we formally offer no evidence on counts one, two and three”.

‘Rebuild his life and career’
His defence barrister, Chris Daw KC, said: “Mr Giggs is deeply relieved that the case has finally come to an end after almost three years of fighting to clear his name.

“He now intends to rebuild his life and career as an innocent man.”

The former footballer denied “losing control” and headbutting his ex-girlfriend and assaulting Ms Greville’s sister, Emma, 26, by elbowing her in the jaw during a row at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester on 1 November 2020.

Mr Giggs was due to go on trial for a second time facing the same charges, after the jury in the first trial was discharged.

The jury was made up of 11 people – seven women and four men – after one of the original 12 jurors had fallen ill.

During the trial, Mr Giggs admitted to being unfaithful in relationships but, when asked if he had ever physically assaulted a woman, he said “no”, adding that he had never set out to control or coerce a woman.

The trial was told of the alleged assault on 1 November 2020 at his home in Worsley, Greater Manchester, where the couple returned following a row at dinner in which she accused Mr Giggs of messaging a string of women.

Jurors heard the pair tussled over their mobile phones, leading to Emma Greville, who was looking after the couple’s dog, calling the police.

He denied the accusations and alleged Kate Greville kicked him in the head.

‘Our legal test is no longer met’
A CPS spokesperson said: “At all stages we keep cases under careful review, to ensure our legal test is met. This means there must be a realistic prospect of conviction based upon the available evidence and a prosecution is in the public interest.

“Following a recent change in circumstances in this case we have determined our legal test is no longer met.

“We have determined there is no longer sufficient evidence available to proceed in respect of the controlling or coercive behaviour charge and that it is no longer in the public interest to prosecute the remaining assault charges.

“This decision was made following detailed discussions with Greater Manchester Police and consultation with the complainants.

“It is not the function of the CPS to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for the criminal court to consider.

“We encourage any potential victims to come forward and report offences to the police and we will prosecute wherever our legal test is met.”

The Cardiff-born former player made 963 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 168 goals.

He also played 64 times for Wales, and went on to manage his national team.

He stepped away from his role in November 2020 after being arrested and resigned as manager in June 2022 while awaiting trial.

His replacement Robert Page went on to take Wales to their first World Cup in 58 years in Qatar at the end of 2022.

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National Anti-Doping Bill 2024: Sports Minister applauds Tinubu’s foresightedness

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The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh salutes President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for placing premium on the National Anti-Doping Bill , thereby giving the Nation a reputation.

The transmission of the Anti-doping Bill 2024 to the National Assembly and the accelerated passage of same remains a landmark achievement of this administration. It is a show of the courageous and bold leadership of the president, a final and appropriate response to the perennial issues of doping that have characterized Nigeria’s relationship with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

Senator John Owan Enoh the sports minister always made it clear that this administration was greeted with WADA issuing a notice to ban Nigeria from International Competitions which degenerated to the point that the agency took Nigeria to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Amidst other non-compliant issues, the main challenge was Nigeria’s inability to domesticate the National Anti-doping Law and setting up a National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) as part of its obligation having signed the international convention in 1999.

“ for years,the country has grappled with meeting up to the expectations of the World Anti-Doping Organization ,despite being a foundational signatory for 25 years.
Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm due to its inability to domesticate the Anti-Doping Law with the backing of parliament.
I must thank our sports loving president for his foresight immediately the issues were brought before him .His foresight and actions have put the country on the right path in sports.
I also appreciate the National Assembly for the passage of the bill ,consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters during plenary.
The county will no longer have doubts of its participation in global sporting events, eligibility to host sports competitions amongst other perennial issues” the Sports Minister said.

This welcome development comes weeks before the country’s participation at the Paris Olympics 2024.

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Bafana Bafana Must Fall, Sports Minister Charges Super Eagles

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Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, on Monday, rallied support of critical stakeholders and Nigerians for Finidi George,

With the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in full swing, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has called on the Super Eagles to shift their focus from their recent African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and concentrate on the crucial task of securing a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The Super Eagles are set to face Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, and Senator Enoh stated that Nigeria must approach the tie as a make-or-break one, as victory will put the team back on track for qualification.

“The FIFA World Cup is the biggest showpiece in football,” Senator Enoh emphasized. “We cannot afford to miss out on the World Cup again. The disappointment of missing the last tournament, especially after the disappointing home match against the Black Stars, must drive us to ensure we qualify this time.”

Senator Enoh urged all stakeholders, including players, coaches, and support staff, to be fully committed to the qualification campaign. “All hands must be on deck to ensure the team qualifies for the World Cup,” he stressed. “I urge the players to get the job done in the first half of the game by scoring early goals, so they are not under pressure in the second half.”

“The upcoming match against South Africa is critical,” Senator Enoh said. “The players need to put the AFCON glory behind them and concentrate fully on this task. Early goals will be key to taking control of the game and ensuring a less pressured second half.”

Senator Enoh concluded by expressing confidence in the Super Eagles’ ability to rise to the occasion and secure a much-needed victory. “We have the talent, the passion, and the support of millions of Nigerians. Let’s channel that into a winning performance and take a significant step towards World Cup qualification.”

The match will kick off at 8 p.m. local time on Friday, June 7, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo. Nigeria currently has two points from two games and sits third in their group of six teams.

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South Africa coach names Super Eagles winger as danger man ahead of WCQ

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South Africa coach, Hugo Broos, has named Super Eagles and Atalanta winger, Ademola Olajade Lookman as the danger man for Nigeria ahead of both teams’ clash this evening, Soccernet.ng reports.

Both sides met in the semi-final of the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast, with the Super Eagles emerging victorious after 120 minutes of intense football. Stanley Nwabali was the hero, denying Bafana Bafana twice from twelve yards.

Lookman is a leading candidate for the CAF Player of the Year Award, after a stellar season with Atalanta, getting to the Copa Italia final, and scoring a hat-trick against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the UEFA Europa League final.

Broos, speaking in his presser ahead of their game against Nigeria, highlighted the Atalanta man as the threat for his side but admitted their focus as a team won’t be on the former Leicester City forward.

“Obviously, the (Nigeria) danger man is Ademola Lookman, but we are not focusing on that. We are focusing on our game, we have the ability and we have proven that at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire,” the Belgian said in quotes revealed by Score Nigeria.

Lookman is primed to step up for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against South Africa tonight, alongside Victor Boniface, after the Nigerian attackers enjoyed success with their European club sides this season.

Samuel Chukwueze is a doubt for Finidi George ahead of tonight’s game. The A.C. Milan right winger did not take part in the final training session of the Super Eagles.

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