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Egyptian Competition Authority refers CAF president to general prosecution

By Sampson Adedeji
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The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) decided Tuesday to refer the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou, to the general prosecution after it

claimed to have proven that Hayatou violated the Protection of Competition Act. The authority has claimed in a statement that Hayato had abused his position in regards to the issuance of broadcasting rights for football

championships. The president of the CAF has the sole authority to commercially utilise these rights.

ECA claimed Hayato gave the broadcasting rights to Lagardère Sports agency for 12 years, starting from

2017 until 2028.The issue comes from the fact that he did not offer the broadcasting rights to any other company through a fair competitive process. CAF gave the same rights to Lagardère Sports in 2006 until 2016, meaning the agency had acquired

the exclusive rights in two consecutive periods. An anonymous source in the ECA told Daily News Egypt that Lagardère Sports was offered the rights

of terrestrial and satellite broadcasting through television and internet streaming. The rights included not only Egypt and Africa, but the whole world. Because Egypt is one of the countries where the broadcasting rights apply, the authority has the right to refer the CAF’s president to the prosecution.

The ECA said that their investigations prove that the CAF agreed with the agency as far back as 2015 to provide it with the broadcasting rights, which would start in 2017. In other words the authority claims the CAF agreed with the agency to provide it these rights a year and a half before the expiration of the rights, which they already had.

The ECA has also claimed it has proven that Hayato intentionally ignored several requests by other companies to acquire these rights through a public

auction committed to the regulations of fair competition and transparency between competitors. Commenting on the rumours that the CAF may

relocate its headquarters outside Egypt, the ECA said that by CAF’s own regulations at least 75% of the 56 member countries of the CAF general

assembly must vote in favour for that to happen. The ECA said it will address all authorities concerned in Egypt in order to guarantee that the CAF abides by its decision, and to repair the serious

damage done to the economy as a result of Hayatou’s decision. The ECA also referred beIN SPORTS to the general prosecution, for misusing its dominant position in the Egyptian market.