Issa Hayatou charged over anti-monopoly concerns

Issa hayatou, President of the Confideration of African Football,CAF,  has been accused by Egypt's general prosecution for allegedly violating local…

Issa hayatou, President of the Confideration of African Football,CAF,  has been accused by Egypt’s general prosecution for allegedly violating local anti-monopoly rules.

Hayatou who is seeking an eighth term at the helm of the African football body was alongside CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani charged for engaging in monopolistic practices that infringed local laws.

The African football body has however rejected the accusations stating that it did not commit any wrongdoing when signing a multi-million dollar deal with sports agency Lagardere in June 2015.

An official statement from CAF categorically asserts that all claims against it are groundless and without merit. The statement notes that CAF will vigorously defend its position, its right and reputation using all legal means available under international law.

The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) started investigating the Lagardere deal in June 2016, prior to asserting in January 2017 – that CAF had engaged in monopolistic practices that infringed local laws. The deal gives Lagardere rights to a variety of African football competitions, including the flagship Africa Cup of Nations, from 2017 until 2028.

“As a result, the board voted in favour of (referring) Hayatou and El Amrani for criminal prosecution,” said the ECA in a statement dated 8 March.

CAF has since maintained that the allegations accusing it of selling rights without opening them for due tender are unfounded. The organisation, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, retains it did not sell any broadcasting rights to Lagardere – merely appointing the French company as its marketing and media agent instead. The African football body also says it has not been given a chance to discuss the case with local authorities.

“In the ordinary course of any legal dispute under international norms, CAF would be given the opportunity to present its case to relevant authorities and have the right to be heard in accordance with due process,” says CAF .

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