The Confederation of African Football has blamed Nigeria for television blackout of the Africa Cup of Nations as a result of tendering a small bid for the continent’s top competition when it spends so much in getting English and European football rights.
Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani who revealed this at a press briefing at the Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg on Friday said that Caf was not ready to bend its rules in favour of any member nation.
Nigeria was blacked out from the Afcon as a result of disagreement between the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and LC2, the agency that is responsible for marketing the television rights to member nations in Africa.
BON was negotiating to pay $1.5 million for the television rights but LC2 initially asked for eight million Euros which it later cut down to 4.5 million Euros. But BON refused to pay, hence Nigerian fans are unable to watch their darling Super Eagles on terrestrial television.
El Amrani said Caf has to continue to sustain itself and has to stay in business so they need to do the business in the best way.
“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,” he said.
“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,” El Amrani explained.