Retired soccer star Ronaldinho was released from a high-security jail in Paraguay on Tuesday after more than a month, but was ordered to serve house arrest at a luxury hotel while he's investigated for using a false passport to enter the country.
The Brazilian entered the hotel about four hours after the ruling. He was transported in a police van and was allowed in after sanitary precautions due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
Ronaldinho, the Brazilian former FIFA player of the year, and his brother Roberto de Assis were also told to pay bail of $800,000 each.
Ronaldinho, who helped lead Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, was jailed on March 6 after entering the small South American country with a false Paraguayan passport. He told local authorities in a hearing that the document was a gift from a Brazilian businessman, Wilmondes Sousa Liria, who was also jailed.
"I decided to put them in house arrest because the investigation is now well advanced, differently from the situation one month ago," Judge Gustavo Amarilla said when issuing the ruling.
Ronaldinho had his Brazilian passport seized at home due to an investigation into alleged environmental crimes, but the document was returned to him in September. One month later he played in a friendly in Israel.
If convicted, the former Barcelona star could spend up to five years in jail. Fourteen people are being investigated in the case.
Attorney Sérgio Queiroz told The Associated Press that Ronaldinho and his brother will not make public statements until the case is closed.
Ronaldinho came to Paraguay to promote his autobiography. He was jailed in an improvised penitentiary in the south of Asunción, which is used for 150 dangerous criminals, including convicts of drug dealing, corruption and rape. During his stay he played soccer with inmates and took pictures with them that were shared on social media.
UEFA is exploring changes to Financial Fair Play rules as clubs grapple with the sudden loss in revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halting competitions across Europe.
The cost-control regulations were introduced a decade ago as a response to the global financial crisis caused by the banking collapse in a bid to prevent European clubs accumulating big losses.
But the break-even rules, which force clubs playing in the Champions League and Europa League to spend only what they earn, restrict wealthy owners from pumping money into clubs to spend on transfer fees and player salaries.
Now such injections of cash from investors could be necessary to maintain the financial health of clubs. Some clubs, including 2019 Champions League finalist Tottenham, are benefiting from tax payer aid with some non-playing staff furloughed using a British government scheme that pays wages.
UEFA, while trying to figure out when the season can resume, is assessing the rule changes needed as the pandemic causes financial tremors across the European game.
"A working group has been set up to look at how club licensing/FFP might need to adapt to take account of the extraordinary challenges that clubs face, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis," UEFA told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "The situation is evolving fast and the working group is continuously monitoring the situation with the aim to come to a proposal in the coming weeks."
Spanish league president Javier Tebas has been a long-standing advocate of FFP, particularly pushing for Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to be punished because they benefit from investments linked to nation-state ownership.
City has been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons for alleged deceptions about the source of revenue from Abu Dhabi — a case and appeal that is not impacted by any FFP changes.
But Tebas is now relaxing his stance about owners pumping cash into clubs, if that does not distort the player market.
"If those people want to invest a lot of money into football ... to reduce the debt levels of clubs," Tebas said, "well I think that would be studied and I think that could be possible."
But Tebas still does not want countries like Qatar, which owns PSG, to be allowed to inflate the bank balances which can be spent on players.
"What is concerning is the states," Tebas said. "When the crisis comes to an end maybe they won't be affected. If we talk about these clubs owned by states this is something I don't agree with.
"The fact we have a crisis doesn't mean we should allow any financial contribution just from anyone. ... So if (someone) comes along and wants to help a club and with a billion euros that should be to help to reduce the debt levels. That shouldn't be allowed to get a competitive advantage and then their losses are going up for the next few seasons."
FFP is also about ensuring clubs meet their financial obligations, including paying transfer fees to rivals on time. Spanish clubs have 350 million euros in outstanding transfer payments to collect from European clubs by Sept. 30, according to Spanish league president Javier Tebas.
"If European clubs don't pay Spanish clubs the Spanish clubs may not be able to pay other European clubs," Tebas said. "That is why it's important for the Financial Fair Play regulations to continue as they are and there is no one who wants to make the most of the circumstances and not pay. It is important Financial Fair Play regulations are abided by as they exist at the moment."
The UEFA executive committee did agree last week to give member associations more time to complete the club licensing process, including providing financial documents, given there is no clear time frame for starting next season.
"The current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs," UEFA said of FFP.
Marseille is the biggest club announced as being under investigation for its finances this season after being accused of breaching an agreement imposed to settle previous financial problems. The club, which is second in the French league, agreed not to exceed a loss of 30 million euros under FFP calculations this season, and limit the ratio of player salaries compared to overall revenue.
According to the most recent data from UEFA, club across Europe made a combined profit of 140 million euros in 2018 compared to losses of 1.163 billion euros in 2009 before FFP was implemented.
Thomas Müller signed a two-year contract extension with Bayern Munich, the German champions said Tuesday.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder's contract had been due to expire at the end of next season but he is now tied to the team until 2023.
Müller has been with Bayern for 20 years, winning eight German titles and the 2013 Champions League, and marked his 500th senior game for the club in November.
"I've been with FC Bayern for a good two-thirds of my life now, so you can't say that the club and I are just along for the ride — we fight for each other," Müller said in a statement. "This club is not just any old employer for me. It's my passion. I'm happy that I'll be here for two extra years, and I'll give everything on and off the pitch."
The announcement comes four days after Bayern coach Hansi Flick signed an extension through 2023.
Müller has played every league game for Bayern this season but hasn't represented the German national team since coach Joachim Löw said in March 2019 that Müller was no longer in his plans.
There could be another change at Bayern after Flick said he had spoken with Miroslav Klose about becoming his assistant.
Klose, the all-time record scorer at the World Cup with 16 goals, is currently coach of Bayern's under-17 team.
"I think that he would be an asset to our coaching team," the dpa news agency quoted Flick as saying.
However, Flick added that he still planned to speak with other possible candidates.
Bangladesh national women's football team captain Sabina Khatun and three others were injured in an attack on her house on Sunday evening at Sabujbagh of Satkhira sadar upazila.
Sabina's sister Salma Khatun was admitted to Sadar Hospital with severe injuries.
Their sister Shirin Khatun filed a case at Sadar Police Station that night accusing four people for the attack. Police have already detained two persons -- Jafar Gazi and Sohan Gazi -- for questioning.
Satkhira Sadar Police Station Officer-in-Charge Md Aktharuzzaman said Sabina’s neighbour Imon and three others were behind the attack.
Soccer players in Spain on Sunday criticized the Spanish league's decision to ask clubs to put the footballers on government furloughs during the coronavirus crisis.
The league on Friday said the furloughs were needed because there was no agreement on the size of the salary cuts players must take to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic.
"It is strange that the Liga supports (the furloughs)," Spain's players' association said in a statement.
It said the league should have created a financial cushion for this period considering it always boasted about its "economic control measures" and the "well-balanced economy" of the Spanish clubs. The association said it also should be taken into account that the league has been temporarily suspended and not yet canceled.
The league and the players' association have been in talks to try to find ways to mitigate losses that could reach nearly 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) if the season cannot be restarted because of the pandemic.
The players said they agree with a salary reduction to help the clubs during the crisis, but not to the extent the league wants, which could amount to nearly half of the total losses if the competition is not resumed.
Players said they want to keep negotiating directly with the clubs instead of being forced into furloughs.
"The clubs and the players have been reaching agreements regarding the salaries," the players' association said. "What footballers are not going to do is relinquish labor rights."
Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are among the Spanish clubs requesting furloughs, but both directly negotiated the amount of the salary reduction with players -- 70% in both cases. Both clubs and their players are contributing to guarantee the wages of non-playing employees being furloughed.
The government furloughs help reduce the clubs' labor costs while also guaranteeing players their jobs once the crisis is over.
Spain has more than 130,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with nearly 12,500 deaths. The nation is expected to remain in a lockdown until April 26.
There is no timetable for the return of the Spanish league.
Players maintained their position to only resume competing when health authorities deem it safe for everyone's heath, a view also shared by the Spanish league.
The league has suggested it will recommend teams start mini-camp while the lockdown is still in place, if it's possible to do so within the restrictions imposed by authorities.