The SA Football Association (Safa) was “extremely disappointed” with the SABC’s failure to broadcast the Sunday night fixture between Bafana Bafana and Sierra Leone in Freetown.
“The SA Broadcasting Corporation has informed Safa few hours before kick-off that the African Cup of Nations match against Sierra Leone will not be televised,” Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe said in a statement issued just before the game was to start.
The SABC said the plane carrying the production team and equipment had been grounded due to bad weather but Sedibe insisted Safa had done everything to assist the SABC to televise the match live after realising that they were facing challenges, the statement added.
“Bafana Bafana is a national asset and we do everything in our power to ensure that all matches are televised live in terms of our agreement with the SABC,” Sedibe stated.
“For the Sierra Leone away-fixture we offered SABC space in the chartered flight and we were unfortunately informed that their crew’s visas were not ready by the time the team departed for Freetown on Friday morning,” the Safa chief added.
Safa said it was disappointed with the turn of events, considering their persistent efforts to have the match televised.
“The leadership of Safa will seek an urgent meeting with the SABC as we view this breach of contract in a serious light,” Sedibe concluded.
On the SABC’s 6pm national radio bulletin it was announced that the SABC TV team was unable to broadcast the match while in a statement to the South African Press Association, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago apologised to its audience. – Sapa