Picture: 123RF/TOMASZ TRYBUS
Picture: 123RF/TOMASZ TRYBUS

SA football fans face a broadcast blackout of Thursday’s opening 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier between Ghana and Bafana Bafana in Accra after SuperSport confirmed the game would not be televised.

SuperSport previously acquired the broadcast rights from Lagardère Sport. But after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) terminated its agency agreement with the French broadcast company a few days ago‚ the pay channel was left in the lurch. 

“We are in a difficult position where we cannot broadcast the CAF games when we don’t have a firm contractual arrangement in place, said Joe Heshu‚ MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs. “SuperSport had previously acquired these broadcast rights from Lagardère.”

But while South Africans will not be able to see Bafana tackle Ghana‚ they will at least be able to watch the national team’s qualifier against Sudan at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.

The SABC confirmed on Tuesday that it will be able to broadcast Sunday’s encounter against the Sudanese.

Acting SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo said the public broadcaster’s recent contract with the SA Football Association (Safa) is for internal matches and this means it is not affected by CAF’s decision.

“In regards to the Ghana vs Bafana Bafana match on Thursday‚ we will not be able to broadcast this match as we do not have the broadcast rights,” said Seapolelo.

The blackout of CAF matches on SuperSport started on Friday with the Afcon Under-23 championships, which are under way in Egypt.