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Egypt prosecution refers CAF head Issa Hayatou to economic court over broadcasting deal

Eslam Omar , Monday 13 Mar 2017
 Hayatou
Hayatou (Reuters)
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Egypt's general prosecution has referred the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Issa Hayatou to the country's Economic Court on charges of violating Egypt's Competition Law in selling broadcast and sponsoring rights.

"Hayatou and [CAF] Secretary-General Hisham El-Omrani have violated the competition law by granting exclusive [broadcasting] rights to a certain company [without a tender]," the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) said on Monday in a press release.

The ECA referred the case to the prosecution early this year, asking for the suspension of the commercial contract between CAF and French company Lagardère Sports, saying it violates Egypt's anti-monopoly laws.

"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.

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 CAF was founded in 1957 in Khartoum by the Egyptian, Ethiopian and Sudanese football associations. 

Egypt maintains that since Cairo is home to the CAF headquarters, the decisions of its officials are subject to the country's laws.

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