Dar es Salaam. Tanzania's opening game of the 2021 Africa Nations Cup qualification campaign against Guinea on Friday is among dozens of matches affected by pay television channel SuperSport's decision to suspend broadcasting of all Confederation of African Football (Caf) matches until further notice.
Taifa Stars players, including Captain Mbwana Samatta, are already in camp ahead of Friday’s duel in Dar es Salaam’s National Stadium.
Meanwhile, SuperSport acquired the broadcast rights to televise these continental matches across the continent and have been running promotions in the past week inviting its audience to watch how Samatta and co fare against Guinea.
But the channel on Tuesday sent text messages to its customers confirming otherwise.
"Please note that SuperSport will not broadcast Caf content, commencing with Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations and qualifiers until further notice," read the message.
The South African company attributes this move to a decision by Caf to terminate an agreement with French broadcast company Lagardere which in turn supplies the content to SuperSport.
Other affected matches include South Africa's games against Ghana and Sudan at the Cape Coast stadium and Orlando stadium respectively.
Multichoice Group executive for corporate affairs, Joe Heshu, added that SuperSport is in a “difficult” position following this decision.
"We are in a difficult position where we cannot broadcast the Caf games when we don't have a firm contractual arrangement in place. SuperSport previously acquired these broadcast rights from Lagardere," said Heshu.
Caf maintains the agency agreement signed with Lagardere breached Egyptian competition rules because Lagardere was appointed as Caf's exclusive agent for marketing and media rights for a 20-year period without open tender. This development denies football fans across the continent a platform to watch their national games in action.