NAIROBI, July 2- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) will be in violation of Confederation of African Football broadcast rights should Saturday’s 2016 CHAN qualifier against Ethiopia be televised by new partners, Star Times.
In a letter dated July 1 from CAF addressed to FKF secretary general, Michael Esakwa and obtained by Capital Sport; the continental body spells out the scope of all broadcast rights pertaining to their sanctioned competitions and qualifying matches stressing any other agreement is contrary to the agreement signed by member nations.
This follows FKF’s announcement on Wednesday that Star Times who entered a USD 5m partnership to sponsor Harambee Stars would televise Saturday’s game against Ethiopia live from Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.
“Reference to our correspondence dated the 14th of May and in conformity to the provisions of articles 47 of the regulations of African Nations Championships, the television and publicity rights, of matches of the first and second round of preliminaries of the African Nations Championships as well as the final phase belong to CAF and all marketing and television rights of the Orange African Nations Championship, RWANDA 2016 will directly and exclusively be commercialised by CAF,” the CAF letter signed by Marketing and TV Director, Amr Shaheen, reads.
This was in response to the question posed to the continental body that wanted to establish whether they hold home and away CHAN Qualifiers matches rights with a letter sent to the federation dated April 21 addressing the matter.
“The sponsorship will go into the team’s preparations for major tournaments including African Nations Championship Qualifiers, with Star Times set to broadcast their debut match this weekend when Harambee Stars host Ethiopia in the second leg of the CHAN Qualifiers, First Round,” a press statement from FKF stated.
In that correspondence, CAF clearly warned FKF against entering into any external broadcast agreement without their express consent saying, “According to some media sources, there has been news that your federation has recently signed a five-year contract with a company under the name of Star Times for the competitions in which your national team is taking part.
“As per the news, the deal should include all television rights for your national team until 2019. On this occasion, we would like to remind you that according to our correspondences dated 26th of April 2008, the 7th of March 2010 and the 20th of June 2013, and in conformity to the provisions of article54 of the regulations of African Cup of Nation;
“Broadcasting and publicity rights at home, during the qualifying phase are the property of CAF. It may cede them free of charge to our associations. In this case, the associations will pay the share of CAF as fixed by the present regulations.”
Another letter addressed to all national associations taking part in the preliminaries of the Orange African Nations Championships, Rwanda 2016 signed by Shaheen on May 15 reminded them on their media obligation.
According to the FKF communique, a ‘jovial’ federation boss, Sam Nyamweya, stated; “This kind of sponsorship has never been witnessed with the national team so it is history that StarTimes have made by becoming the first corporate to sponsor the national team to a tune of one million dollars a year in cash and broadcasting expenses.
“FKF is extremely grateful to StarTimes for this gesture and we assure them of our unyielding commitment to this partnership because it is good for Kenyan football and we have a duty to jealously guard it for our mutual good.”