Cape Town – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has issued a statement apologising to the public for the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) failing to broadcast the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria on Saturday.
A crowd of nearly 30 000 gathered at FNB Stadium for the clash which ended in a 1-1 draw as Lebo Mothiba cancelled out Buhle Mkhwanazi’s own goal.
The Super Eagles have secured their spot at next year's tournament in Cameroon while South Africa need just a point against Libya in their final Group E match in March next year.
Read the full statement below:
The South African Football Association (SAFA) wishes to apologise to the nation and the football loving public for the fact that the SABC failed to broadcast the BAFANA BAFANA vs NIGERIA AFCON QUALIFIER this (Saturday) afternoon.
SAFA had taken the initiative to seek a resolution to the impasse as early as the first week of November and made the SABC an offer to broadcast the BAFANA BAFANA vs NIGERIA AFCON QUALIFIER and the NELSON MANDELA CHALLENGE, by attempting to conclude a match by match agreement. In this instance, SAFA offered the matches to the SABC for a rights fee of R10m (Ten Million Rand). The SABC declined this offer by SAFA.
SAFA then continued to engage the SABC, in the hope that it would be able to ensure that the nation had an opportunity to watch the match on SABC. In this regard, SAFA then took the initiative to reduce its rights fee request from the original R10m (Ten Million Rand) to R7,5m (Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Rand). Again, the SABC declined this gesture made by SAFA.
Late last evening, discussions continued, and the SABC indicated it wanted to broadcast the match, but it did not have the funds available. SAFA again conceded to the SABC that it was willing to negotiate a payment plan, in the interest of ensuring that the nation would be able to watch the match.
However, the SABC failed to reduce this request in writing by this morning, 17 November 2018. Later in the day, prior to the match, approaches were again made via the Ministry of Communications, requesting SAFA to allow the SABC to broadcast the match, and that operationally the parties would resolve the payment structure post the match. Again, SAFA agreed to this process, and immediately authorised CAF / Supersport to release the feed to the SABC.
To SAFA’s surprise, it noted that the match was not being broadcast on the SABC platform, and once again wishes to apologise to the nation for the fact that they have not been able to watch the match on SABC. However, SAFA has done everything humanly possible to afford the SABC the opportunity to broadcast the match on its platforms.
It therefore saddens SAFA that there is no consideration for the public, and the persistence by the SABC of supporting foreign football and entities with the South African tax payer’s money is depriving the nation and football loving public of their right to watch their national team.