Huawei also believes Messi’s passion inspires millions worldwide to strive for excellence and connect with people and considers the partnership “the perfect fit” and comes under the theme ‘connecting greatness’. “Lionel Messi will help our brand to encourage people to focus, persevere and breakthrough; to connect with greatness, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America, where Huawei puts great devotion,” said Kevin Ho, president, Handset Business, Huawei Consumer BG, at yesterday’s press conference. Ho stressed that Huawei will seek to be number one in mobile phone sales in more than 170 countries, including Jamaica and the Caribbean. “We both honour the path we walked to what we have achieved and with each new challenge, we renew our commitment to find the path to success,” he added, while reiterating that his organisation’s belief that sport is a great way in which people enrich their lives, and through football in particular, which it considers a strong avenue. In the last few years, Huawei has invested in several teams – such as America, Santa Fe, Sporting Cristal, Arsenal, Atletico de Madrid, and AC Milan. Their brand ambassadors include Robert Lewandowski and Alexis Sanchez, and now the biggest of them all, Lionel Messi. “You have to sacrifice and go all in; always looking forward to achieving greatness. The day you think there are no improvements to be made, you have to keep working for reaching other achievements,” Messi said yesterday. Tyrone Liu, CEO, consumer business group for Huawei Latin America, said: “We are happy to announce our collaboration with an extraordinary individual who inspires people all over the world to pursue their dreams, to face challenges to become better with each day, a man who shares a lot of the same values with the Huawei brand.” MESSI AN INSPIRATION BARCELONA, Spain: World-leading information communication technology and telecoms firm, Huawei, scored big with the signing of Lionel Messi the only football player in history to win the FIFA World Player of the Year/FIFA Ballon d’Or five times as their global ambassador yesterday. The announcement was made here in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I Hotel. While some global media have been speculating that the deal struck with the super-star forward will cost Huawei around eight million euros annually, the Asian-based organisation’s officials chose not to reveal an exact figure. They indicated, however, that they want to secure a long-term partnership with the world’s top-rated footballer, who is considered by many to be the greatest of all time.
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West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) marketing and communications manager Carole Beckford says that the body will not be drawn on speculation about the future of West Indies cricket should the International Cricket Council (ICC) go ahead with its proposed changes regarding team membership.Under these proposed changes, full members of the ICC would have their statuses reviewed every five years, after which, a decision will be made about their membership. Associate members would have their statuses reviewed every two years, and affiliate membership would be scrapped altogether.An email, which was circulated among ICC members, said full membership status is not permanent and “a full member may be reclassified as an associate member upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee, where it fails to meet the retention criteria.”Another proposal being suggested is that the ICC will withhold funding from members unless they provide information on their finances, as well as how it is spent.It is believed that these measures would put pressure on teams, such as the West Indies, that have been struggling with match results for a number of years.NO NEED FOR SPECULATIONHowever, Beckford told The Gleaner that these are only plans and nothing has yet been decided as a meeting will first need to take place between the council and each member, associate and affiliate team. As such, she says the WICB sees no need to be drawn on speculation at the moment as no decision will be made before such a meeting.The West Indies Test team is currently ranked eigth of ten teams in the world as at February 13, while, as of February 22, its One-Day International side is ninth of twelve ranked teams in that format. The West Indies Twenty20 team is fourth of 17.