The Saturday crunch Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifying match between South Africa and Nigeria will be blackout on television in South Africa.

Sports Village Square cannot verify whether it is a ploy to get the fans to the massive calabash-shaped FNB Stadium, the venue of the match as officials lamented earlier in the week that only 7, 300 tickets had been sold.

The stadium, when in full capacity, seats over 94,000. But the official explanation for the local television blackout is the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) will not be broadcast owing to failure in rights’ negotiation.

According to a local publication, Sowetan, football-mad South Africans will once again face a national team blackout on the public broadcaster when Bafana take on the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying match at FNB Stadium.

“The SABC and SAFA have reached a deadlock in their (latest) negotiations on the coverage of the home matches for Bafana Bafana Afcon qualifier matches‚” said SABC spokesperson Neo Momodu on Wednesday.

Safa acting chief executive Russell Paul revealed that the two parties met two weeks ago in a fresh bid to look at ways to work with each other for future Bafana home matches but nothing came off the meeting.

Paul said Safa tried to come up with a concept of pay-as-you-go arrangement with the SABC as there is no contract in place between the two parties‚ but again it yielded no positive results.

“We have discussed with the SABC opportunities and possibilities of how we can work with each other on a game-by-game arrangement but still they have declined‚” said Paul.

Kickoff for the Bafana match is at 3pm on Saturday on two pay-TV SuperSport channels – SS4 and SS10.

Banyana play their Nigerian counterparts a day later in the fishing port city of Cape Coast (5.15pm).

Banyana have been drawn with Nigeria‚ Zambia and Kenya in Group B for the tournament that will be staged in Ghana from November 17 to December 1.

The annual Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup versus Paraguay on Tuesday‚ in honour of the revered former statesman at Durban Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ will also not be televised live on SABC platforms.

SABC and SAFA are at loggerheads because of monetary valuation of broadcast rights to national teams’ home matches.

The SABC has been paying SAFA R110m for the broadcast rights to the Bafana‚ Banyana Banyana and junior national team matches for the past three years.

But the cash-strapped public broadcaster offered just R10m for the same rights for a new deal after the initial contract expired in April this year.

The SABC is sticking to its offer of R10m while SAFA continues to reject it outright

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