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Fifa’s offer to CAF nations: we can double your media-rights income through centralisation

Fifa has said that – if Caf hands over centralised rights to World Cup qualifiers – it can double the revenue African football’s governing body currently earns from the property.

Fifa general secretary Fatma Samoura has written to the Caf member nations, calling on them to sign a mandate that would Fifa to collectively sell their media rights rights for qualifying matches to the 2022 and 2026 editions of football’s showpiece event.

Centralised rights to Caf qualifiers to the 2014 and 2018 Fifa World Cups were sold by Caf to agencies Sportfive – now Lagardère Sports – and B4 Capital. But following the 2018 Fifa World Cup, African nations announced that they would be opting to sell media rights individually after having centralised the sales process in the two previous cycles. More mature markets in Africa – particularly Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria – were keen to sell their rights individually and felt certain that they could generate higher revenues by moving away from centralisation.

Samuora now writes that Fifa believes it could double the revenues generated for qualifying matches to the 2026 World Cup when compared to the 2018 qualifiers, and match the 2018 figures with the 2022 sales.

The mandate outlines how Fifa intends to centralise the rights with the governing body saying that it will redistribute net revenues to the member nations and that the amount returned to Caf nations will be decided “following consultation” and “after deduction of relevant expenses, such as production and sales costs.”

Caf nations have until August 21 to respond.

Fifa is also studying the possibility of centralising sponsorship rights to World Cup qualifiers in the Caf region, including the official match ball, presenting sponsor and pitchside advertising boards.

The distribution of rights by Lagardère Sports and B4 excluded South Africa’s qualifying matches which were sold by the South African Football Association.

The Lagardère Sports-B4 agreement for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers was announced eight years ago by CAF as a $23m (€20.6m) agreement covering centralised broadcast and sponsorship rights.