Bafana's TV blackout

Minister Tokozile Xasa
Minister Tokozile Xasa

Millions of South Africans will be deprived of watching Bafana Bafana's Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Paraguay this evening.

The football-loving masses are caught in the crossfire between the SA Football Association (Safa) and the SABC, which also did not broadcast the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between SA and Nigeria on Saturday.

The annual friendly match in honour of the world icon has historically been televised by the public broadcaster.

At this year's match, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (7pm), in the centenary of his birth, Madiba will sadly not be celebrated in the way he should be.

Vuyo Mhanga, the spokesperson for minister of sport and recreation Tokozile Xasa, bemoaned the fact that the match will most likely not be televised on SABC.

"It is unfortunate because we all know what Mandela means to the country, and this match has been a tradition over the years," Mhanga said. "We need an everlasting solution because this does not augur well for us as a nation."

At the heart of the impasse is SABC's offer to Safa of R10m for the rights to Bafana games, while the football body wants R100m per year.

The department's director-general Alec Moemi has been tasked with being the mediator for the two parties.

A spokesperson at the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Kagiso Bonoko, said: "What is happening between the SABC and Safa is beyond the Fund and we hope that they find a resolution soon so that the majority of the South African population may once again continue to experience the wonderful game they so love."

SuperSport have confirmed that they will be televising the match.

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