2 February 2013

Nigeria: CAF Blames NFF, BON for Non-Transmission of Nations Cup Matches

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

The Africa football governing body has blamed the Nigeria Football Federation for the inability of tens of millions of Nigerians to watch the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.

The Confederation of African Football blamed the Nigerian federation and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, for denying over 100 million Nigerians the opportunity to watch the ongoing African Cup of Nations on Terrestrial TV.

Currently, only people with access to Supersports, a station on satellite TV, DSTV, are able to watch the matches in Nigeria.

CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani, told journalists at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg on Friday that "Nigeria proposed a small bid for the continent's top competition when it spends so much in getting English and European football rights."

"CAF was not ready to bend its rules in favour of any member nation," he added.

Nigeria could not get access to transmit the Nations Cup matches because the BON's bid of $1.5 million (N225 million) for the rights was rejected by LC2, who own the broadcast right of the competition. The company demanded that Nigeria pay 4.5 million Euros (N675 million) for transmission rights.

Mr. El Amrani further said that "CAF needs to secure two things. The first is to sustain the maximum coverage of the competition and the other is to respect the laws of the market and the prices,"

"We cannot sell to someone who wants to buy at 20 times less than the usual price, we cannot do this otherwise we will have to close our doors. We cannot survive if we do not sustain the minimum value of our television rights.

"We have seen steady progress in the Nations Cup in the last few years; this is because we are self-sustaining and financially independent.

"Nigeria will go and purchase an English package or European football package at the right price but they want to purchase our package free or at a ridiculous price. We cannot go ahead with that, there is a minimum balance we have to maintain," he added.

Nigeria will play against Cote d' Ivoire in the Quarter Final of the competition on Sunday.

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