Lagardere to contest CAF decision to cancel $1bn rights deal

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Nov 2019

Ahmed Ahmed
Ahmed Ahmed, president of the Confederation of African Football (AFP)

French Lagardere group said it will take "all measures" to preserve its rights in the ongoing dispute with the Confederation of African football (CAF) over marketing rights of the continent's competitions.

Lagardere, which has the exclusive marketing rights of African competitions until 2028, said on Tuesday that CAF had canceled the $1 billion deal, which was signed in 2015.

The French group described the decision as "unilateral, unlawful, unreasonable and unjustified ".

"We will take any and all action to defend our rights and obtain compensation," Lagardere said in a statement on Tuesday. 

CAF and Lagardere announced in mid 2015 a 12-year extension to a previous deal that ran from 2009 to 2016.     

The new deal was the subject of an investigation by the competition committee of the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa), which said it had many concerns over the length of the deal.

However, CAF president Ahmed Ahmed criticised the deal, one month after he was elected in March 2017, adding the CAF will review the deal signed by his predecessor Issa Hayatou.

But Lagardere asked the African Football governing body to respect its commitments.

"There is no reason – including the ongoing investigation by the COMESA  Competition Commission, which has yet to issue its decision to cancel the agreement at this stage," the statement added.

" Lagardère strongly regrets this situation and has asked the CAF to adopt a more reasonable position and respect its commitments."

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