NAIROBI, July 4- Kenya risks a ban from all CAF competitions if Football Kenya Federation (FKF) media partners, StarTimes, go ahead to air Saturday’s 2016 CHAN return leg qualifier against Ethiopia at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium.
In a letter addressed last night to FKF secretary general/Chief Executive Officer, Michael Esakwa by CAF Marketing and Television director, Amr Shaheen, the continental body tersely reminded the national federation to respect their commercial and media rights.
This came after the broadcast wars over the game escalated last night between SuperSport International who have bought the rights to the game from SportFive; CAF’s marketing and communications agency and federation boss Sam Nyamweya.
“Any infringement to all or part of CAF TV rights and properties, notably in case of using the rights without a valid agreement signed with CAF or in case of improper usage of the rights in question, violates the competitions regulations and is liable to the disqualification of our team from the competition and to legal proceedings,” Shaheen’s letter dictates.
“Therefore, the contract concluded with StarTimes should not be valid for any of the CAF competitions and the preliminary rounds and the African Preliminaries of the FIFA World Cup 2018, knowing that CAF reserves the exclusive right to commercialize the rights in question,” he added.
“Despite the correspondences communicated to your federation on the 21st of April, 14th of May and the 1st of July, we were informed that FKF has recently signed a five-year contract with StarTimes for the competitions in which your national team is taking part.
“As per the contract, the deal should include all television rights for your national team until 2019. We also refer to the announcements made by FKF and StarTimes to broadcast the above mentioned match in the frame of the qualifiers of the Orange African Nations Championship, RWANDA 2016,” the communication from CAF stated.
-Approved by federations-
“We would also like to inform you that, reference to the letter sent by the CAF Secretary General on the 9th of August 2014 (attached) the decision of the CAF during the 36h CAF Ordinary General Assembly, which was approved by all national associations, your federation has thus accepted to be part of the pooling system for the FIFA World Cup 2018 African preliminaries,” the marketing director emphasised
“Once more we would like to remind you that, reference to our correspondence dated the 14th of May and in conformity to the provisions of articles 47 of the regulations of African Nations Championship, the television and publicity rights, of the matches of the first and second round of the preliminaries of the African Nations Championship 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 commercialized by CAF.
“In case your Host Broadcaster has signed the form 5, concerning the TV production and transmission of the CHAN qualifiers matches, your national TV will be authorized to broadcast the home match on terrestrial basis only in the territory of Kenya and after CAF approval,” Shaheen stressed.
The federation maintained their blockade of Nyayo Stadium through Friday night with armed police guarding the facility under express instructions not to allow SuperSport crew in with the barricade still in force by the time of going to press in the morning of match day.
Should the standoff fail to get a last minute solution, Harambee Stars risk being expelled from Rwanda 2016 and the 2018 editions of the Africa Home Nation Championships that are Kenya are scheduled to host.
Further sanctions include expulsion from the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations campaign where Kenya is pooled against Congo Brazzaville, Zambia and Guinea Bissau and even the running from the 2018 Russia World Cup should world body FIFA step into enforce the continental body’s punishment.
Capital Sport reliably learned SuperSport crew and outside broadcasting vans would press on with their plans to go to the stadium with the broadcast of the game in doubt.
The match is slated to kick-off at 3pm local time (+3GMT) where Kenya needs to overhaul a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to advance to the second round of preliminary qualifiers for 2016 Rwanda where Djibouti or Burundi await.