Another Bundesliga club has signalled its intent to enter the esports fray as Hamburger Sport-Verein e.V (“HSV”) are set to sign a FIFA player, The Esports Observer reports.TEO reports that at an event run by Lagardère Sports and HSV prior to a Bundesliga match, HSV’s Head of Sales and CRM Oliver Poppelbaum responded to a question about entering esports by confirming that the club’s management had approved the creation of an esports department. Hamburg will become another Bundesliga team to enter the esports space through sport simulation, much line Hertha BSC, Leverukusen and VFL Wolfsburg who all adopted for FIFA over other esports titles. Schalke 04 are of course the exception, as they have a team competing in the European League of Legends scene.An interesting addition to the report is that the Bundesliga team has revealed it intends to partner with schools to support “sustainable growth through education and coaching”. Should reports be true, Hamburger will become the latest in what must be approaching 200 sports clubs and/or figures to have become involved in esports. The involvement ranges from signing FIFA players to investing in esports organisations. It’s unlikely that this is set to slow down as sports and esports continue to converge and the esports opportunity continues to be amplified.For anyone interested in finding out more, Esports Insider’s Super Forum takes place on the 22nd March, 2018 and look at the crossover between esports and sports. Taking place at Stamford Bridge, the home of the English champions on the 22nd March, ESI will welcome over 20 industry leading speakers for a fantastic one day event. For more information, click here.Esports Insider says: Good to see more clubs getting involved. We have to admit though, we’re St Pauli fans at heart and there can only be one Hamburg club for us. Would be a good local rivalry in FIFA though, right?
Sparendaam land probeWednesday’s questioning of former members of Cabinet under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) regarding the sale and transfer of lands located in Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, popularly known as “Pradoville 2” is paving the way for the Opposition to take actions against Government for various transgressions over the past three years.This is according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo at his weekly press conference on Thursday. He told media operatives that the former Ministers were mainly asked about a $13 million road development contract and about their knowledge of property vesting laws.According to Jagdeo, he is happy with the course that the probe is taking.“[There is] duplicity here but they’re digging a deep hole for themselves… Trust me, they don’t know what they have done,” Jagdeo asserted.Insisting that the prolonged probe is only a political gimmick used to distract the public whenever Government is on its “back foot”, the Opposition Leader maintained that he will not settle the matter and will “fight it in court”.Jadgeo along with other former Cabinet Ministers were summoned to SOCU headquarters on Wednesday for further questioning into the ‘Pradoville 2’ probe. While Jagdeo did not show up, he indicated that he will be working out an appropriate timing with SOCU.Nevertheless, among those questioned on Wednesday were former Public Works Minister Robeson Benn, former Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai, former Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir, as well as former Education Minister Priya Manickchand.The coalition Administration is contending the acquisition of lands in the area by former Government officials is a criminal act because of the belief that it was sold below market value. Since then, several former Government officials have been questioned by SOCU and according to some, it is becoming “harassment”.Nevertheless, Jagdeo revealed that Wednesday’s line of questioning has opened another avenue for the Opposition to take action against Government, particularly with regards to the $150 million contract that was singled sourced to a Dutch company.Based on a complaint from the Opposition, the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) had probed and found that the sole-sourcing of the contract, which Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson got approved by Cabinet, to LievenseCSO for the feasibility study of the new Demerara River bridge had breach the procurement laws. The Opposition has since sent the matter to SOCU for it to be further investigated and actions taken.Jagdeo explained that previously, they would have only been able to go after the Patterson for bypassing the tender laws and taking the unsolicited bid to Cabinet. However, he noted that Cabinet members usually hide under the lid of collective responsibility, but now, SOCU has lifted that veil to individual responsibilities of individual ministers.“Now each Minister who sat in Cabinet when the illegal contract was approved can now be charged; not only Patterson. So each of those persons in Cabinet now will be open to questioning… The Public Procurement Commission investigated this, they found it illegal that somebody got a contract that they shouldn’t have for $150 million. So that when this is investigated now by SOCU, they now have to invite every single member of this Cabinet to ask them about this contract [and] whether they were aware that the procurement laws didn’t give them a right to approve such a contract, including President Granger. In a way, this new twist will allow us to resolve us another issue,” he posited.The Opposition Leader went on to say that Cabinet also broke the law when it approved the contract since it has no right of approval.“We removed that right when we passed new procurement laws for Guyana. Cabinet, now under our laws, only has a no objection role so the Cabinet acted illegally when they approved Patterson’s unsolicited bid that he took to them,” he contended.Former President Jagdeo also went on to outline that despite making claims of the PPP stealing about $28-35 billion annually, in the three years the coalition has been in Government, Pradoville is their biggest find of alleged corruption.On the other hand, Jagdeo said that over the past three years the PPP has gathered a lot of evidence of corruption against this current Administration but efforts to get justice against those responsible Ministers have been met with hurdles such as the Director of Public Prosecution’s nolle prosing criminal charges against five Ministers. To this end, Jagdeo expressed the hope that the SOCU probe against Minister Patterson would not be delayed, adding it is a straight forward matter.