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Zagallo, Brazil’s four-time World Cup Winner, dies at 92

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 Mario Zagallo, who won four soccer World Cups for Brazil as either player or coach, has died, according to a post on his official Instagram account on Saturday. He was 92.

A tough and talented left winger, Zagallo played on the team that won Brazil’s first World Cup in 1958 and he kept his place in the side that retained the title four years later.

In 1970, he coached a Brazil squad that featured all-time greats like Pele, Jairzinho, Rivellino and Tostao – one that many consider to be the greatest national team ever to play the game.

They won Brazil’s third World Cup in Mexico.

That made Zagallo the first person in the sport to win a World Cup as both a player and a manager.

Later, he was assistant coach to Carlos Alberto Parreira when Brazil won their fourth title in 1994 in U.S.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed condolences to Brazil on Saturday, describing Zagallo’s impact on the World Cup as “unparalleled”.

Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said it would hold a seven-day mourning period to honour Zagallo, while the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it was mourning the loss of the only four-time world champion.

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed condolences to Zagallo’s family, friends and “millions of admirers” and declared a three-day period of mourning in Brazil.

His Brazilian fans loved him for his idiosyncratic personality and unapologetic nationalism.

He liked to say he was born with victory at his side and was rarely shy to challenge those who said his teams were too defensive.

One of his most famous outbursts came after Brazil won the Copa America in Bolivia in 1997.

His team were unfancied but when the final whistle went, an emotional Zagallo, his face red thanks to the rarified air of La Paz, screamed into the television cameras:

“You’re going to have to put up with me!”

The phrase is still frequently repeated by Brazilians in all walks of life celebrating vindication.

Zagallo was also known for being highly superstitious and believed the number 13 brought him luck.

He liked to coin phrases that contained 13 letters, he got married on the 13th of the month, and once even joked he would retire from the game at 13:00 on July 13, 2013.

Nicknamed the Old Wolf, Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo was born on Aug. 9, 1931, in Maceio on Brazil’s impoverished northeastern coast.

His family moved to Rio de Janeiro before his first birthday and it was there he fell in love with football.

His first dream was to be an airline pilot but he was forced to abandon that due to poor eyesight.

Instead, he studied accountancy and played soccer in his spare time with local side America, then one of the biggest clubs in the city.

“My father didn’t want me to be a football player, he wouldn’t let me,” Zagallo said in an interview published by the CBF.

“Back then it wasn’t a profession that was respected, society didn’t look kindly on it … That’s why I say football came into my life by accident.”

Zagallo started off as a left midfielder, wearing the No. 10 shirt, which back then, before Pele, had not yet assumed the significance it has today.

But intuition told him he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I saw it would be hard to get into the Brazil side wearing the No. 10 shirt as there were lots of great players in that position,” he said.

“So I moved from left midfield to left wing.”

He also moved from America to Flamengo, where he won three Carioca state championship medals.

The latter half of his career was spent at city rivals Botafogo, where he won two more state titles.

His first World Cup came in Sweden in 1958, where he started all six matches and played alongside Garrincha and Pele, who was then just 17.

“I was 27 and Pele was 17,” he said. “That’s why I say that I never played with him, but that he played with me.”

Four years later in Chile he was champion again, but he only guaranteed his place after making some tactical alterations.

Zagallo would hang back to help mark the rival full back and when his side won the ball he would roar up the wing.

It was unusual for forwards to help out in defense and he is credited with changing the way wingers played the game.

As coach, Zagallo led a string of Brazilian clubs, but he made his mark when he was drafted to replace the controversial Joao Saldanha as Brazil coach just months before the 1970 Mexico World Cup.

Brazil’s form had been erratic and they were not fancied, but Zagallo pulled the star-studded team together, capping a tremendous show with a memorable 4-1 triumph over Italy in the final.

Zagallo stayed on until 1974, taking Brazil to fourth place in West Germany, but it was a disappointing performance that was followed by spells managing clubs back home and national sides in the Middle East.

He was an assistant to Parreira in 1994 when Brazil won their fourth title, and in 2006, when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

He was also in charge in 1998 when Brazil lost 3-0 to hosts France in the final after star striker Ronaldo was hit by convulsions just hours before the match.

The 2006 denouement was a tough one for Zagallo, who had been unwell in the lead-up to the tournament.

He was clearly finding management a strain, and retired from the game.

Always ebullient and ever popular, he did not disappear from public view, though, and often appeared on television, at gala awards and helping out at the CBF.

He married in 1955 to Alcina de Castro and remained with her until her death in 2012. The couple had four children.

  • Reuters
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NPA: Dantsoho Pledges To Reposition For Increased Productivity, Efficiency, And Revenue Generation

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… Assures timely payment of emoluments, compensations, training and capacity development

Groomed through the ranks and thus, better informed, the new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr Abubakar Dantsoho has pledged to reposition the Authority for increased productivity, greater operational efficiency and increased revenue generation.

Dantsoho pledged during the handover ceremony which took place at the conference room Headquarters, Marina Lagos. He has since resumed duty at the Headquarters in Marina.

 “As we match towards this great journey, I wish to state that our main goal is to reposition the Nigerian Ports Authority for increased productivity and greater efficiency for increased revenue generation”, Dr Dantsoho said, expressing his deep appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the opportunity given to him to be the 29th Managing Director of NPA.

The Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s Seaports affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the Nigerian Ports compete favourably with neighbouring ports, especially in areas of Port operations.

 This he stated would be achieved through the robust exhibition of the overall commitment and collaboration to achieving success.

Speaking like an administrator who truly feels the pains of staff neglect, Dantsoho stressed that he is committed to improving the welfare of the workforce through the timely payment of emoluments, compensations, training and capacity development especially for employees who show added value in their areas of deployment.

The NPA Boss promised to continue with the digital transformation of the Authority and the Port Community system which are key to blocking leakages and corruption while promising to explore ways of further improving Port infrastructural renewal. 

‘’In particular, we shall drive port rehabilitation and modernisation. We shall pay attention to logistics that surround the arrival of cargo to the port corridor, loading of ships and other things that surround berthing of cargos,’’ he said, assuring that he would further tap into the benefits of the Deep Seaport corridor as well as promote the ideals of Transparency for Ease of Doing Business. 

In the area of collaboration with sister agencies, Dr. Abubakar stated that he would maintain an open door for communication and collaboration with sister agencies and all relevant stakeholders.

He equally congratulated the former Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko and his team, for their invaluable contributions to the industry. 

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Echoes from CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

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Bilateral Boost: CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

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Bilateral Boost: CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

…To effectively enhance national security, Better Service Delivery through Global Partnerships

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, On Thursday, July 18, 2024, took a significant step in strengthening global partnerships by participating in a bilateral meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington, D.C. 

Determined to revive the over-a-decade-old Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and subsequently enhance national security service delivery through global collaborations and data-driven decision-making, the Comptroller General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi last week participated in a bilateral meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington, D.C. 

The gains of the meeting which was held Thursday, July 18, 2024, aside from offering a significant step in strengthening global partnerships, will also help Nigeria address the challenges of cross-border crimes, particularly drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and money laundering, each of which dovetails on boosting national security. 

“Reviving the CMAA will bolster the Nigeria Customs Service’s capacity to protect the nation’s borders and enhance service delivery, paving the way for a more secure and prosperous future for all Nigerians”, the CGC, Adeniyi emphasized, highlighting the successful interception of illegal items, which includes drugs and weapons, at major ports and airports in Nigeria. 

Also Read: Echoes from CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

He then stressed the need for increased capacity building to tackle Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement and opiate issues. 

“Our efforts at the ports and airports have yielded significant results, but there is still much to be done in capacity building and enforcement,” the highly informed Customs Arrowhead said.

Adeniyi underscored the importance of a  Center for Advanced Cargo and Passenger Data Analysis to mitigate risks; and the need for such a centre to enhance cargo and passenger security, while pointing out the success of prosecuting wildlife criminals.  

Additionally, he advocated for an advanced Command and Control Centre (3C) to address security concerns.

 “A dedicated targeting data fusion centre will significantly improve our ability to manage risks and enhance security measures,” Adeniyi explained, adding: 

 

“By customising our approaches and collaborating globally, we can address the complexities of air cargo security more effectively,” he remarked.

The meeting diligently covered the challenges of commercial air cargo security and potential partnerships with U.S. government agencies.

Adeniyi highlighted the importance of future operations, including CBP’s global targeting advisory directors and their capabilities in information sharing on cargo and passenger sides.

In his reaction, James Collins, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of International Affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, emphasised data integration, partnerships, and targeted efforts to address transnational criminal groups exploiting seams and boundaries. 

“Integration of data and international cooperation is crucial in countering transnational threats”, James Collins stated and highlighted the importance of collaboration and information sharing in border security and intelligence gathering. 

He stressed the need for investing in capacity building, train-the-trainer programs, and targeted training to address gaps in border security.

 Collins stressed the need for secure channels for sharing intelligence and building partnerships with international organisations to sustain efforts in combating illicit trade and traffic. 

“Continuous training and secure intelligence sharing are vital to our success in maintaining border security,” Collins also noted.

Key action items identified include establishing specific channels for continued intelligence sharing between Nigeria Customs and CBP, exploring operational partnerships between Nigeria Customs units and networks like CBP to coordinate cross-border responses, leveraging INTERPOL programs and collaborating with other West and Central African countries on transnational crimes.

The meeting concluded with a presentation on Artificial Intelligence by Sunil Madhugri from the Office of Information and Technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, highlighting the future of technology in enhancing customs operations and security.

 “Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in our strategy to modernise and secure our borders,” Madhugri said.

In a related event, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi visited the Nigerian Embassy in the USA, where he was received by Mr. Rabiu Lawal, Charge d’Affaires a.i, and his team.

 The CGC appreciated them for their warm reception and their tireless efforts for all the Nigerians in the diaspora.

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