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SABC offered R10m for Bafana, Banyana matches, Safa reveals

Acting South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Russell Paul says that the SABC is misleading the public by saying it made a 'commercially viable' offer for the rights to all national team matches.

Neither Bafana Bafana nor Libya found the back of the net after squaring up at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Picture: @BafanaBafanaSA/Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN – Acting South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Russell Paul says that the SABC is misleading the public by saying it made a "commercially viable" offer for the rights to all national team matches.

On Thursday, Safa released a scathing testament suggesting that the offer was “discourteous”, which amounted to nothing. The statement also suggested that the apartheid-run SABC “made a better offer to the association for their rights in this country.”

The SABC released their own statement in response to Safa as this protracted battle, which pops up every time the national team is set to play, continues to be fought in the public domain.

However, Paul has told EWN Sport the details of the proposed offer which sheds light on SAFA’s grievances with the national broadcaster.

“I think just to place matters in perspective, the SABC in the statement indicated to the public that they made a reasonably commercially viable offer and we fail to see how an offer of R10 million for all Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana, under-20, under-23 and national competition is a reasonably commercially viable offer in anybody's language.”

“Considering that for the past three years they’ve paid us R110 million a year, so, the figure that they're quoting is less than 10%. It's mischievous, it’s misleading to the public to say that they made a reasonable offer. I really cannot understand what they mean by reasonable.”

The cost of staging a Bafana Bafana match is more than R4 million so the offer would technically only cover two national team matches.

Despite the ongoing commotion, Paul is keen to find a solution because of the millions of soccer fans who rely on SABC platforms to see their national team play.

“We are mindful of the fact that we owe a duty to the nation as well. So yes, we want to have the matter resolved but they (SABC) have not paid us on time. They still owed us money beyond the end of the (last) contract and that has affected our development process dramatically from a funding perspective. We want to address the relationship but to go from R110 million a year to R10 millio, is ridiculous."

SABC STATEMENT

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has noted the statement by the South African Football Association (Safa), announcing that all future international football matches involving the national teams, Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana will not be broadcast on SABC platforms.

The SABC would like to place on record that it made a commercially viable offer that would enable the SABC to deliver football matches to South African audiences on SABC platforms and this offer was rejected by Safa. This follows the expiry of the previous contract between Safa and the SABC. On the previous contract there were obligations and milestones which the SABC has met, including the payment milestones of that contract, albeit late given the SABC’s dire financial situation. In this regard, the SABC made full and final payment on the agreement as agreed with Safa.

The outstanding Safa obligations due to SABC from the previous contract are the two remaining 2019 Afcon qualifier matches which are, the Bafana Bafana vs. Seychelles match on 13 October 2018 and the Bafana Bafana vs. Nigeria match on 17 November 2018.

The Seychelles vs. Bafana Bafana match scheduled for 16 October 2018 will be broadcast by the SABC since these rights do not reside with Safa.

With reference to Safa allowing the SABC to broadcast the last Afcon qualifier match Bafana Bafana vs. Libya we contend that the broadcast of the match had nothing to do with a promise of a new agreement but was based on the payment milestone which the SABC has since met from the previous contract.

The SABC’s financial position is a known fact and has been made public by the SABC, despite this, the SABC has ensured that it met all its financial obligations to Safa. The SABC is therefore prepared to broadcast the two remaining 2019 Afcon qualifiers.

It is unfortunate that the SABC and Safa legal dispute is in the public domain but the SABC remains committed to engaging Safa on fair terms.

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