Africa football chief faces prosecution over broadcast rights

Issa Hayatou is being referred to General Prosecutor for favoring Lagardere Sports

Published: Updated:

African football supermo Issa Hayatou is being referred to General Prosecutor under charges of graft, according to Egyptian Competitions Authorities, reported King Fut website.

The charges against Hayatou relate mainly to the granting of broadcasting rights for football championships.

According to the authorities, the football chief violated article (8) sections (A), (B), (C), (D), (E) of the Protection of Competition Act. They found that Hayatou misused his position and gave sole broadcasting rights to Lagardere Sports without the opportunity for other companies in violation of the rules of free and fair competition.

Hayatou gave Lagardere the rights for 12 years starting from 2017 till the year 2028.

The Confederation of African Football CAF signed this agreement with Lagardere in June 2015, almost a year and half before the current rights agreement ended.

CAF had earlier granted Lagardere broadcasting rights in 2008 and until 2016, which meant that the company acquired these rights for 20 years running.

These rights were not only limited to satellite broadcast but included webcasting too, and not only limited to Egypt and Africa, but gloablly.

Egyptian Competitions Authorities have now asked CAF for quick measures according to article 20 of the Competition Act. This will most importantly include the cancellation of the contract between Hayatou and Lagardere because of the outcomes this have on Egypt.

The authority also granted an exceptional right for BeIn media organization, in addition to the other company that applied for the broadcasting grants, to continue its live broadcasting for the 2017 AFCON which will start on January 14.