NAIROBI, Kenya, February 12- Pay television provider SuperSport has acquired rights to broadcast live Gor Mahia and Sofapaka preliminary round CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup matches this weekend.
Both sides penned a Sh2.5m (USD27, 298) one-off deal apiece with the clashes pitting Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor and their Madagascan counterparts; CNaPS on Saturday and that between GOtv Shield winners Sofapaka and Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum the next day live on their SuperSport 9 East channel.
The deal is renewable upon progression of both sides to each ensuing stage of their continental competitions.
Speaking Thursday, SuperSport Head of East Africa; Auka Gacheo said the broadcast company is committed to Kenyan football despite ongoing wrangles between KPL and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) that threatens to give rise to parallel top flight competitions.
“Both clubs (Gor and Sofapaka) face financial challenges participating in the CAF matches. We have negotiated with both and I believe this deal will boost their financial kitty,” Auka announced.
Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa said, “Clubs have a huge problem of finances. The deal has come at the right time and I appreciate a lot. The last time we were in the competition we spent Sh31.5m (USD344,000) so it’s a very expensive affair.”
SuperSport are negotiating with the visiting CNaPS and FC Platinum to nail a deal that will see them broadcast return-leg fixtures.
At the same, Kalekwa confirmed he has cleared all the player’s dues after some of the key players boycotted the pre-season demanding three months salary arrears as he held his support for a 16-team top flight this season fronted by KPL.
“We only had a problem with Eugine Asike who refused his third month salary, saying that he wanted to be paid all his dues at the same time and leave the club on a free transfer.
“But we declined because as a club we are in business so we are waiting to see if he will come back, if he doesn’t we will use the FIFA rules that might see him pay the club for the period he has been away.
Asike has a one year contract left at Sofapaka while Kalekwa added midfielder Clifton Miheso’s deal in Finland is not yet complete since they have to released the International Transfer Certificate.
-Football tussle still on-
On Wednesday, Gor and Sofapaka played in the DStv/SuperSport Cup, the curtain raiser for the season where the champions prevailed 2-1 over the cup holders with the winners taking home Sh750,000 (USD8,192) and the losers Sh500,000 (USD5,461).
Having declared the game ‘illegal’ for flouting Fifa and their statutes, the federation reportedly fined both clubs Sh200,000 (USD2,184) for taking part in the face-off whilst suspending match officials involved from three months as the farcical tussle continues.
The federation, despite insistence it had secured a better broadcast sponsorship package with TASS and promises to remit Sh1m (USD10,922) to the clubs monthly for the 9-month duration of the season, have not remitted even a single coin to their coffers or availed details of their purported deal.
FKF have declared the 2015 top flight will feature 18 teams, 14 of them allied to KPL and who have expressed their intent to continue with the management company formed to run the competition in 2007 in the nucleus of the current stand-off.