CAF issues statement in response to Egyptian court allegations
CAF issued a statement in response to the charges and allegations on its president, Issa Hayatou, and its secretary general, Hicham El Amrani.
The Egyptian Public Prosecutor for Financial and Commercial Affairs pressed the charges in response to CAF’s monopolistic deal to grant Lagardère its media marketing rights from 2017 to 2028. The deal was granted to Lagardère without offering it to other companies that wanted to acquire the CAF’s media rights such as Egyptian company, Presentation Sports.
In their official statement, CAF stated, “CAF is compelled to issue the following statement in the face of a variety of unsubstantiated charges and allegations presented in the media by the Egyptian Competition Authority which, it is now understood, has led to the Public Prosecutor for Financial and Commercial Affairs referring CAF, its President and Secretary General to the Egyptian Economic Court on the basis of the same unsubstantiated charges and allegations.”
CAF defended its Lagardère deal stating, “In commercial terms, the deal represented an enormous increase in the revenues guaranteed to CAF for its marketing and media rights, which secures significant and guaranteed funds for the benefit of African football over the next 12 years. Further, with an unrivaled track record in delivering African football for over 22 years, Lagardère Sports is also an agency that can deliver and execute CAF’s vast program of events – including the Africa Cup of Nations, the African Nations Championship and the African Champions League – such is the scale and complexity of the events across the whole of the African continent.”
The confederation emphasized that any allegations issued in the Egyptian media is utterly incorrect and based on false accusations. Moreover, in response to Presentation Agency, CAF stated, “The charges presented in the media by the Egyptian Competition Authority and the Public Prosecutor, through appearances on talk shows and issuance of press releases, contradict the clearly established aforementioned facts. It is suggested that a company called Presentation Advertising Agency submitted a superior offer to CAF at the time of the negotiations. For the avoidance of any doubt, the offer submitted by Presentation was submitted in September 2016, 15 months after the signature of the contract; and materially and substantially fell short of the financial, technical, execution and other requirements commonly expected and required for deals of this nature in the sports media industry.”
CAF also reported that Presentation’s offer was to “acquire outright the marketing and media rights held by CAF”. According to the confederation these rights were “never for sale and the very holding of such agency rights by Presentation would be in violation of its own articles of association.”
The CAF claimed that the timing of these accusations is meant to undermine the confederation with the presidential elections, which are set to be held the upcoming Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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