AFCON

No AFCON for South Africans?

2010-01-08 10:40
Johannesburg - Football fans in South Africa face the stark prospect of missing the Africa Cup of Nations due to the South African Broadcasting Corporation's continuing ineptitude.

Sport Five, the marketing company that sells the rights for Confederation of African Football events, and the SABC have reached a stalemate in negotiations that would allow the public broadcaster the rights to the tournament.

The stumbling block relates to a R1-billion contract the SABC signed with the French company in 2009 for broadcast rights for the CAF Champions League.

The SABC, who is the host broadcaster for the FIFA World Cup later this year, subsequently reneged on the deal and Sport Five resorted to legal action in an attempt to force the South African media giant to honour the contract.

"We are still in negotiations (about AFCON)," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told The Star on Thursday.

"If you remember we had a dispute with them over the contract, but we are doing everything in our power to negotiate."

As it stands the debt-ridden SABC do not appear to have the rights to broadcast AFCON, meaning South Africans will not be able to watch the cup on television.

Fans and industry insiders were hopeful that subscription channel SuperSport would agree a last-ditch deal with Sport Five to televise AFCON in South Africa.

But their communications manager, Clinton van der Berg, told Sowetan: "We will only televise the matches in other parts of Africa and not in South Africa."

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