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Panama Papers: Swiss police raid UEFA headquarters

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Swiss police have raided the headquarters of the European soccer body UEFA in Nyon to collect data about a contract signed by Gianni Infantino, now head of the global soccer body FIFA, that was reported in the Panama Papers.

Media investigates Tuesday said that UEFA sold broadcast rights for 2006-2009 Champions League matches to Argentine pair Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, owners of Cross Trading, who allegedly resold them to Ecuadorean broadcaster Teleamazonas for three times as much.

The deal, signed when Infantino was UEFA’s legal chief, was revealed in the Panama Papers leaks, but the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has implied that it had suspicions before the leaks came out.

UEFA has confirmed that Infantino, who was working for UEFA at the time, was one of two of its officials who signed the contract.

UEFA, however, has denied any wrongdoing by itself or Infantino.

“UEFA can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant and requesting sight of the contracts between UEFA and Cross Trading/Teleamazonas,” UEFA said in a statement.

Infantino was elected as FIFA president in February to try and lead the federation into a new, scandal-free era.

In a separate statement, UEFA denied suggestions in some media reports that the rights were sold at below the market price.

UEFA said the rights were sold to Teleamazonas after an “open, competitive, tender process” conducted by TEAM, its exclusive agent.”

“We can also add that the offer made by Teleamazonas was very much the “going rate” for this category of rights in comparable markets in Latin and Central America,” UEFA said in a statement.

It added that anything suspicious about any agreement between the two companies should be investigated by the appropriate authorities.

AFP/Reuters

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Health

Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer

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Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.

The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.

The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.

“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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