Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
9 Nov 2019
7:47 am

TV blackout for Ghana-Bafana?

Jonty Mark

Bafana Bafana's opening 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Ghana on Thursday is in danger of not being televised in South Africa after SuperSport announced on Friday that they would no longer be broadcasting any Confederation of African Football (Caf) content.

Molefi Ntseki. Pic: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

“Due to the termination by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of its agency agreement with Lagardere, SuperSport will not be broadcasting CAF content, commencing with the Afcon under-23 championship, starting in Egypt this weekend, until further notice. This also extends to the Afcon qualifiers, which resume on Wednesday, 13 November, read a SuperSport statement.

Read more: SABC to show Bafana matches after agreeing Safa deal.

“We are in a difficult position where we cannot broadcast the CAF games when we don’t have a firm contractual arrangement in place. SuperSport had previously acquired these broadcast rights from Lagardere,” commented Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group Executive for Corporate Affairs.

Caf announced earlier on Friday that it had terminated it’s agreement with Lagardere.

“In 2017, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) found that the Agreement breached Egyptian competition rules because Lagardère was appointed as CAF’s exclusive agent for the marketing and media rights for an uninterrupted 20 year period without any open tender. By the same decision, ECA declared the Agreement null and void and imposed a number of remedies on CAF. Those remedies included the obligation to immediately terminate the Agreement and suspend its effects within the Egyptian market,” read a Caf statement.

“The Economic Courts of Cairo then issued two judgments in 2018-2019 (cases No 397/2017 and No 434/2019) whereby they found the two former CAF officials, the former President, Issa Hayatou, and the former Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani, who signed the Agreement guilty of anti-competitive and fraudulent conduct, and imposed a fine of EGP 500 million on each of them. On appeal, the fine was reduced to EGP 200 million and CAF was held to be jointly liable for the payment of that fine.

“Finally, in 2017, the Competition Commission of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (“CCC”) assessed that the Agreement infringed the CCC Competition Regulations. It recommended the imposition of a financial penalty on CAF and the adoption of certain remedies, including the termination of the Agreement.

“Given the above developments, CAF had no choice but to terminate the Agreement.”

With Bafana set to play Ghana on the Gold Coast on Thursday, it now remains to be seen if the South African Broadcasting Corporation, or another broadcaster, will televise the match. The South African Football Association and the South African Football Association did sign a deal recently over the televising of Bafana matches, but that only applies to the home Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The SABC will show Bafana’s second 2021 Afcon qualifier against Sudan on Sunday at Orlando Stadium.

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