Sunday World

CAF treating us like dogs – SABC

Broadcaste­r almost lost rights to CAF final last Saturday

- By Kgomotso Mokoena

The SABC bosses have launched a salvo at CAF, claiming Africa’s football mother body is negotiatin­g its broadcast rights in bad faith.

SABC general manager Gary Rathbone has lashed out after the public broadcaste­r was almost left out in the cold when it came to broadcasti­ng the historic CAF Champions League final between Kaizer Chiefs and Al Ahly in Casablanca, Morocco, last Saturday. The SABC complained that CAF sold the rights exclusivel­y to Supersport despite the public broadcaste­r having agreed to the asking price.

Minister of Communicat­ions Stella Ndabeni-abrahams stepped in to resolve the impasse at the last minute. A compromise was reached that allowed the SABC to broadcast one of the biggest soccer finals in Mzansi’s history.

The SABC also refuted allegation­s that it was given the rights to broadcast the semifinal match between Chiefs and Wydad Athletic and that the public broadcaste­r dropped the ball and failed to deliver.

“We are not beggars or dogs that you can just kick, we represent millions of South Africans. When you disrespect SABC, you disrespect millions of South Africans,” said Rathbone.

“We need to sit down and come to an agreement that is directly between SABC and CAF on the rights for the next three years.

“I think CAF president Patrice Motsepe has been badly advised that the SABC were asking for the rights for the final for free.

That’s rubbish because we submitted a bid and we were prepared to offer them the amount they were asking because we needed to have this game. Problem is that they do not want to work with us.

“What happened last week is not going to happen again.”

CAF head of communicat­ions Lux September said he was not willing to be drawn into the discussion.

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