November 24, 2020

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AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Breaking News: Kotoko, Medeama to refund StarTimes cash amid "no footage" row

4 min read

Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko and Medeama are preparing to refund a combined $30,000 to Premier League broadcast holders StarTimes as they move to take coverage of their own matches on the domestic front, GHANAsoccernet.com can report.The two clubs have vowed to call the bluff of the China-based organisation following an unpopular directive from the Ghana Football Association.There is mounting anger among elite division clubs in the West African nation after the governing issued a fiat, threatening to sanction clubs that take coverage of their own matches despite being for non-commercial purposes.The directive from the Ghana FA has sparked controversy and wave of disquiet is creeping through the football architecture, threatening the smooth start of the 2020-21 season.The clubs are ready to refund the money to the broadcaster holders to enable them take full charge of their own coverage for technical analysis.The move if finalized could lead to a showdown between the clubs, the broadcaster holders and the Ghana Football Association.The Ghana FA is under mounting pressure to withdraw the directive which has ruffled feathers in the West African nation.Kotoko are planning to drag the FA to court over the directive which seeks to prevent the club and others from filming its own matches in the domestic top-flight – a move largely seen as “backward”.Officials of the Porcupine Warriors have been left incensed with the latest directive from the governing body, and will challenge the association at the law court, GHANAsoccernet.com has been told.In a letter from the Association addressed to all Clubs and stakeholders, the Ghana FA emphasized thatillegal filming infringes on the Contractual agreement with Broadcast partners Startimes Ghanaand anyone found culpable will be dragged to the Law Court.But the Ghanaian powerhouse have not taken kindly to the directive, insisting the move is “backward”, vowing to fight the FA on the matter to its logical conclusion.

This directive prohibits Asante Kotoko from utilizing its video and technology partners VEO from capturing its games – in a sensational twist which has ruffled feathers in the West African nation.

GHANAsoccernet.com understands that Asante Kotokos game against Eleven Wonders was delayed for close to 15 minutes after FA officials tried to stop the Porcupine Warriors from filming the game with their VEO device.

The incident has led to the Ghana FA issuing out a strong warning to any club that will go contrary to the rules.

Kotoko officials have strongly opposed the directive from the Ghana FA and are ready to seek redress at the court on this matter.

The move by the Ghana FA is set to cripple Asante Kotokos partnership with VEO since it will be rendered useless should the directive hold.

And this is what has irked the record Premier League holders – who have vowed to put the Ghana FA directive in the dustbin as they ready themselves for a media and legal showdown with the governing body.

Tension is building up in the air asPremier League clubshave been angered amid an outpouring of outrage from the latest directive.

The Ghana Football Association issued a directive on Monday, warning the principal actors – football clubs, from filming their own matches for technical analysis.

The Ghana FA claim filming of matches by Premier League clubs is illegal, warning it could be forced to drag the major stakeholder to court for an infringement on a contractual agreement between broadcast partners StarTimes and the FA.The directive has been met with stiff opposition and could potentially disrupt the smooth start of the 2020-21 season.The China-based organisation, which acquired the TV rights to broadcast the Ghana Premier League back in January this year, have just paid a paltry $10,000 to all 18 elite clubs so far with an additional $5,000 to be paid on Tuesday November 17, 2020.The directive is in furtherance to the threat issued by the broadcast right holders to stakeholders over what they claim are”illegal and unlawful”broadcast of matches in the Ghana Premier League.They have dragged four media outlets – Silver FM, Aseda FM, Stade Afrique and Najoe Sounds to court for broadcasting and sharing Asante Kotoko’s game against Techiman Eleven Wonders on their official channels including Facebook and Youtube.The television right holders are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to avoid ambush-marketing – vowing to deal ruthlessly with any organization that broadcast the content of the Premier League without approval.But the directive from the Ghana FA has become hugely unpopular with a number of clubs including Asante Kotoko vowing to drag the association to court.The Porcupine Warriors endured a hellish and nightmarish spell with officialdom over its decision to use the VEO, the cutting edge automatic camera for football during their league match against Eleven Wonders on Sunday.For now it appears the new directive from the FA may not see the light of day with clubs bent on ignoring the unpopular directive and damned the consequences.