It is still uncertain if Nigeria will watch live broadcasts of the matches of AFCON.
Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, said on Friday in Lagos that efforts are still on to ensure that Nigerians watch the live telecast of matches of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.
The tournament has been scheduled to begin on January 19 in Johannesburg.
Mr. Abdullahi, also the Chairman of the National Sports Commission, NSC, said this at a Media Round Table with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, in Lagos.
He said it is unfortunate that the country had found itself in such a difficult situation.
He wondered why those that those saddled with negotiating theBroadcast Rights acted late in opening the negotiation.
“They ought to have acted much earlier,” he said. “Why this is just coming up now two days or so to the Africa Cup of Nations? It’s unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation but I must say also that it is more a matter for the Ministry of Information than to the Ministry of Sports.”
“But we’ve tried to assist, got NFF to even write a letter to them and I got a preview yesterday (Thursday) but I’m still optimistic that something would happen because negotiation still continues.
“But that’s the situation, we shouldn’t find ourselves in this situation in the first place and that if we envisage this crisis, the people who have responsibility to ensure that Nigerians watch the
competition ought to have risen long before now,” the minister added.
He said he had heard about the broadcast rights tussle from the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, while he was away in Faro, Portugal to monitor the Super Eagles preparations.
“The Honourable Minister of Information was actually the first person that mentioned it to me that there are issues about broadcast rights but wanted me to speak with Confederation of Africa Football, CAF.
“I spoke with some of my contacts in CAF and they said, look, CAF has no issues with it, they’ve sold the rights to LC2 and that LC2 has the right to do whatever the like with the license they’ve got.”
He said that he made several efforts to resolve the issue with the CAF but was informed the right had been sold to LC2.
Nigerian TV stations currently have rights to air only Super Eagles matches after the bulked at the demand of LC2 for the rights to all the games.
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