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Safa & SABC relationship breaks down, again

Safa says despite having opened the discussions with the SABC to negotiate a new deal, the SABC decided to make a discourteous offer to it for international football matches to be played in SA.

FILE: The SABC headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The South African Football Association (Safa) released a statement saying upcoming Afcon qualifying matches for Bafana Bafana as well as international matches for Banyana Banyana will not be broadcast on any of the SABC platforms.

Safa says despite having opened the discussions with the SABC as early as October 2017 to negotiate a new deal on similar terms and conditions as the immediate past agreement, the SABC decided to make a discourteous offer to Safa for international football matches to be played in South Africa.

Safa rejected the offer outright and said in their statement “that the offer is so minuscule that it amounts to an effective no offer. It is interesting to note that even the apartheid-run SABC of old made a better offer to the association for their rights in this country.”

Safa further noted that the SABC recently concluded deals with the EPL to broadcast British Football in this country, and on 25 September 2018 announced a deal with CSA, to broadcast the T20 League in Sub Saharan Africa (which will include South Africa).

Safa says they have been repeatedly told by SABC management that it is in no position to conclude a contract/contracts whilst it is in a financial state of disarray.

However, Safa feels it is patently clear that the SABC actions, over the past few weeks in signing deals with EPL and CSA, are calculated towards engineering the financial downfall of Safa, which the association will not stand for.

It is also regrettable that the nation and the football-loving public missed out on a great opportunity to witness Banyana Banyana defend their Cosafa title recently Safa offered the SABC the matches (including the final) at no cost, whilst negotiations were taking place – but the SABC declined.

Safa has written to both the SABC and Icasa and informed the Ministry of Sport and Recreation South Africa and the Ministry of Communications that it wishes the SABC and Icasa to issue Safe with a letter that will relieve the SABC of its obligations towards sports of national interest (football in particular) which would consequently allow Safa to conclude an agreement with another broadcaster for the Safa rights in line with the commercial value Safa attributes to such rights.

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