A last minute bid to bring Botswana Vs Algeria game on television is about to see the light of the day as Botswana Football Association (BFA) signs an agreement dubbed ‘Form 5’ with Confederation of African Football (CAF). The form gives Botswana television (Btv), a local broadcaster the license to produce and air the Zebras encounter against Algeria.
This follows the announcement by Broadcasting giant SuperSport that they are not going to televise (Caf) matches until further notice. According to a statement issued by SuperSport‚ the reason for the blackout is because of Caf terminating its agency agreement with French broadcast company Lagardère Sports. “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.
SuperSport’s non-broadcasting of CAF games will commence with the Under-23 African Cup of Nations that starts in Egypt this weekend. It’s a critical time for SuperSport to be pulling out as the tournament serves as the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s football tournament. The broadcast blackout also extends to the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers that resumed on Wednesday‚ November 13.
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.
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. With the above developments, CAF had no choice but to terminate the Agreement. With The Zebras set to play Algeria, the defending champions of the African game, it now remains to be seen if the Botswana television, or another broadcaster, will televise the match. The recently signed deal is however for local games only.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.