21 January 2013

Nigeria: BON Pleads for Patience Over Non Transmission of Afcon Matches

Photo: Chris Kirchhoff/MCSA
Soccer fans at the 2012 world cup.

The Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Malam Abubakar Jijiwa, has appealed to Nigerians for their understanding over its inability to transmit live, the matches of the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.

He made the appeal on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Otukpo, Benue. Jijiwa, who is the Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), said BON wanted Nigerians to watch the matches live.

He, however, regretted that this had not been possible due to "the outrageous amount of money" BON was asked to pay by the organisers.

He said those in charge of the AFCON broadcast rights had become so arrogant and had "taken football away from the people".

Jijiwa said they had turned football "into a kind of mafia, a cabal and a cartel and it is totally unacceptable'.

The chairmen pleaded with Nigerians to endure the temporary inconvenience to enable them to confront the problem frontally rather than pretend that all was well.

Jijiwa disclosed that at the time of negotiation, BON was ready to pay 2.5 million dollars.

However, he said the last position of the organisers was 4.5 million euros, a figure unaccepted to BON.

"We would have asked the government to pay for us but if we pay now, they will ask for 10 million euros next time because they believe Nigeria is "one fat cow they can feast on".

"We will no longer support people to cheat our government by allowing it to take money and buy rights that are not reasonable and economically viable", he said further.

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