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CAF race heats up as Egyptian persecution refers Hayatou to court

CAF race heats up as Egyptian persecution refers Hayatou to court

Egypt

Egypt’s general prosecution has referred CAF president Issa Hayatou to the country’s Economic Court on charges of violating Egypt’s Competition Law (ECA) in selling broadcast and sponsoring rights.

Hayatou is being charged alongside CAF secretary general Hicham El Amrani.

CAF was founded in 1957 in Khartoum by the Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese football associations and Egypt maintains that since Cairo is home to the CAF headquarters, it is subject to Egyptian laws.

In June 2015, CAF renewed broadcasting rights of various African football competitions to a French firm Lagardère, to run from 2017 through to 2028.

All other companies have been deprived of competition for the broadcast rights of African Football for 20 years, and this harms the market as well as viewers, who were forced to watch their national team's matches under the conditions of one company.

Egyptian authorities however accuse CAF of renewing the deal after deliberately ignoring several requests to open up tendering in a way that would ensure fair competition while preserving the rights of Egyptian football fans.

“All other companies have been deprived of competition for the broadcast rights of African Football for 20 years, and this harms the market as well as viewers, who were forced to watch their national team’s matches under the conditions of one company,” ECA head Mona El-Garf said.

The ECA has also referred the case to the competition commission of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which has accepted to hear the complaint, noting that other COMESA countries have reported the same objection, reports Ahram.

On Monday, the CAF issued a statement saying that the charges and allegations reported in the media by the Egyptian Competition Authority are unsubstantiated, affirming that the African football body will vigorously defend its position, its rights and reputation using all legal means available under international law.

The Cameroonian Hayatou faces Madagascar Football Association president Ahmad Ahmad on March 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the CAF presidential elections.

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