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SABC flop! - fail to cover Bafana game

By Ramatsiyi Moholoa | 2010-10-11 06:07:57.0

SOUTH Africans are angry that the SABC failed to cover the much-awaited away game between Bafana Bafana and Sierra Leone in the capital Freetown last night, blaming weather conditions for their mess up.

The broadcaster announced shortly before kick-off that their crew with their equipment was grounded in Ivory Coast due to inclement weather conditions.

However, journalists from other media organisations did not experience this set back as they arrived in Freetown by Saturday morning, the same time as Bafana Bafana.

Angry Bafana Bafana supporters blamed the corporation's managerial incompetence for the blunder. They said management had shown they were incapable of foresight, forward planning and efficiently organising resources, which are basic tenets of management.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said their five-member crew could not fly out of Ivory Coast because of cloudy and rainy weather.

Kganyago was quick to deny reports that their failure to show the game was related to the exorbitant demands by the match rights' owners.

Safa chief executive officer Leslie Sedibe echoed the disappointment of the nation when he said: "The people of South Africa have the basis to be angry.

"As Safa, we will convene an urgent meeting with SABC top brass to get an explanation. We feel seriously let down," Sedibe said.

Sowetan has learnt that SABC were offering the match rights' owners R14 million (US$ 2 million), which they rejected outright.

We also established that the crew only left South Africa on Saturday soon after their visa applications were approved.

"We concluded the negotiations for the rights on Friday, long after the Bafana Bafana charter flight had left. The money has already been paid.

"The problem is that Sierra Leone does not have the required equipment for us to show the match," Kganyago said.

Sedibe told Sowetan: "We know that the SABC top brass had been negotiating for the broadcast rights for two months.

"We received an e-mail from SABC on Friday, saying they were encountering challenges with regard to the rights for the match.

He said the SABC asked Safa to intervene and they did just that by talking to the Sierra Leone federation, arguing that the amount wanted by the rights owners was exorbitant.

The Sierra Leone federation explained to Safa that the matter was no longer in their hands as they had sold the rights to a third party, who made it clear SABC were free to negotiate with them.

"We also negotiated with customs to enable SABC to travel with their equipment. There was also an offer to SABC to use our charter flight but their visas were not ready.

"They sent us a text message on Saturday saying the crew had boarded a flight and were on their way to Sierra Leone," Sedibe said.

A fuming soccer fan Pat Moyaha said: 'This is highly unacceptable. The sooner SuperSport comes on board for Bafana games, the better.

"SABC are doing all these things because they enjoy the monopoly of our national teams."

Facebook social network was last night flooded with comments from angry South Africans.

Ngwako Motsieng posted this comment: "SABC never fails to disappoint."

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