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Stakeholders urge CAF to embrace fair play over TV rights

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Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad. / AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI

Stakeholders have continued to raise eyebrow over the delay by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in taking a decision on the TV rights for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Two weeks ago, a tender was issued for an agency to manage CAF’s free-to-air rights in Africa, starting with AFCON 2019, in a move that signalled an end to Lagardere’s hold on these rights.

Lagardere and its associate, LC2 are apparently taking a back seat in the televising of the forthcoming AFCON. This follows widespread reports of alleged malpractice involving it and former CAF President, Issa Hayatou.

Current President, Ahmad Ahmad assumed office two years ago with a pledge to ensure greater transparency in its dealings. But stakeholders doubt the sincerity of CAF in the ongoing bidding process for the AFCON 2019 free-to-air rights for Africa.

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In a joint statement that followed the African Union Ordinary Assembly last month in Ethiopia, it was stated that FIFA, CAF and the AU would be collaborating on “the promotion of good governance and anti-corruption in sport…”

Towards this end, a broadcaster in the West African region said there was need for CAF to give all parties a fair chance to win the rights.

“The bidding process is not as transparent as expected and we are all worried about this because once a decision is taken, it is the end and it may affect many of us in the industry. CAF must stand firm on anti-corruption,” the female broadcaster said.

Only recently, Infront Media stated publicly that CAF’s adviser, Hedi Hemel (Adviser to CAF’s President on Communication) has no ties to the company. However, records show that a former senior officer at TVMS, the France-based company chaired by Hemel, Lydia Charial, is married to Infront Media President, Luc Charial,


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