Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Dr Patrice Motsepe has applauded pay-per-view channel SuperSport and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for finally reaching an agreement that will see the CAF Champions League final shown in all corners of the country.
The SABC announced early on Friday that it had been denied the opportunity to show the final between Kaizer Chiefs and Al Ahly to its viewers because CAF sold the exclusive rights to SuperSport.
But a few hours later, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced that following an engagement with both the SABC and SuperSport, an amicable solution was reached in the interest of the people.
The SABC will now televise the match on SABC 1 and SABC Radio Stations while SuperSport will broadcast on Channel 202 in South Africa, channel 205 in Nigeria and on channel 225 on the rest of the continent.
Addressing the media following the CAF EXCO meeting in Rabat, Morocco on Friday, Motsepe insisted that CAF’s obligation is to take football to the poor.
“There is nothing that would have excited me more than the people of South Africa to watch the game,” he said.
“CAF has an obligation to develop football throughout the continent, but football is the game of the poor. Football is a game, worldwide but particularly in Africa, of those who are marginalized, unemployed and come from poor rural and urban communities.
“That is part of our primary obligation and I am excited that there was this arrangement between SuperSport and South Africa Broadcasting Corporation to ensure that they (fans) can watch the game. What is critical is, in my capacity as President of CAF, my obligation is to take football throughout Africa and football in every country in Africa,” he added.
The CAF Champions League final will start at 21:00 (SA time) at Mohamed V Stadium in Morocco.
“In the context of the challenges and the competition that exists in Africa for the TV rights, I am confident that as we move forward, we will make sure that we allow those companies that are doing excellent work, SuperSport is doing excellent work, and various others to compete.
“But also to make sure that our primary objective of developing football throughout the continent and making sure that all people in the continent, I said this last week in Benin, in particular the poor have access to watching football live on TV,” said Motsepe.
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By Ofhani Munyai