Egyptian competition authority targets Hayatou

The Egyptian Competition Authority has referred Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou to the country’s general prosecutor after alleging that the award of a major package of football rights broke regulations.

The ECA claimed that Hayatou (pictured) violated aspects of the country’s Protection of Competition Act when the Sportfive agency was awarded worldwide rights to Caf events in 2015 without a formal tender process having taken place.

The Sportfive agency signed a 12-year renewal with Caf covering six Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournaments in 2017, 2019, 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027, as well as exclusive rights to Afcon qualifiers, the Caf Champions League and other second-tier properties, from 2017 to 2028.

As with previous Caf deals, no formal tender was issued for the rights and all negotiations took place in private.

The Sportfive brand has since been phased out, with Lagardère’s sports-rights agencies falling under the Lagardère Sports brand.

The authority suggested that Caf would have to unbundle rights across different platforms for future tournaments to meet competition regulations.

Caf’s headquarters are in Egypt, although Ethiopian officials announced in November that it would lobby for the offices to be relocated to Addis Ababa.

Hayatou served as acting president of the sport’s global governing body, Fifa, following the suspension of Sepp Blatter and until Gianni Infantino secured the role on a permanent basis nearly a year ago.