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SuperSport declines bid for Ghana football rights

Fans watch the pregame action before an international friendly between USA and Ghana (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

SuperSport, the pan-African pay-television broadcaster, was absent from the bidding during the Ghana Football Association’s invitation to tender for the rights to a host of its properties, the national football body has said.

The GFA has received seven bids for the properties which include the top-tier Ghana Premier League and the second-tier Division One League, the Women’s Premier League, and the men’s and women’s FA Cups.

Kurt Okraku, the GFA president, told the Joy FM radio station: “We have already made it public that seven companies expressed interest in being a partner of the FA or in owning the rights to our leagues. I am sad to say SuperSport did not put in a bid – I think this is the first time I have made this public.”

SuperSport previously held the GFA rights for a three-year spell between 2013 and 2016.

The ITT was triggered after a 10-year deal between the GFA and pan-African broadcaster StarTimes was cancelled in December.

That deal was worth a total of $18m (€16m) and was set to run between 2017 and 2026 before it was reportedly cancelled after an obligation for StarTimes to construct football pitches in co-operation with the GFA was not met.

The GFA’s deal with StarTimes represented a significant uplift in value from the three-year SuperSport agreement.

The GFA announced that the tender process had closed on December 27 and that a decision would be announced imminently so that matches can be shown from the third match week of the new season.

Okraku added: “In the new week, we will announce the winners of the bidding process. We’re looking at capacity, we’re looking at the quantum of money that is available to the Football Association via this partnership, we’re looking at capacity in terms of cameras, reach etc.

“We don’t want a situation where some league venues are never visited by our TV rights-holder as we experienced in the time past.”

Some of the bidders are from outside Ghana, Okraku revealed, leading to the GFA carrying out what he described as a “very good due diligence process to ensure that we are very sure of what we’ll roll out”.

A deadline of December 10 was originally set for bid submissions, though that was extended until the end of the month. The radio rights bid submissions deadline was similarly extended from December 10 to December 31.

Meanwhile, the GFA has issued a statement condemning betting operators from acting without its express permission.

The GFA said: “We strongly warn all betting companies to stop placing bets on the Ghana Premier League or any GFA product without authorisation from the GFA; failing which the Association will take legal action against them without further notice.”

Ghana’s betting regulator, the Gaming Commission of Ghana, has been contacted by the GFA following a complaint by the footballing body over the “illegal activities of [the GCC’s] licenced betting companies against the GFA and its members”.