Khoza pleads with Icasa not to undervalue football

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Premier Soccer League (PSL) Chairman Irvin Khoza says they will be meeting with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) again in March next year to get the update on the broadcasting regulator’s plan to amend the sports broadcasting regulations in South Africa.

Icasa received written submissions last year and also held public hearings on these plans.

The PSL came out strongly last year to say if these planned regulations were to be implemented they would consider closing shop because it would kill football and other sports bodies in the country.

Just last week, the PSL declared a record billion rand in revenue and the chunk of this came from the renewal of their five-year broadcasting deal with MultiChoice International.

In their draft of sports broadcasting regulations to be amended, Icasa has placed national team matches as games of national interest and wants to be available to free to air broadcasters for free.

Khoza, who is also the Vice-President of the South African Football Association (Safa), goes on to say this will not only cripple football in the country but will also drive away sponsors.

Until the country was awarded the 2010 FIFA World Cup, football in the country was playing second fiddle to rugby and cricket in the country when it comes to sponsorships.

For the past decade, the average price of football tickets has remained R40 and its difficult for PSL to raise it because of affordability for the normal football fan on the street.

Most sports bodies have also challenged these proposed regulations because, without broadcasting money, there’s serious limitations for funding. A point which is also driven by Khoza.

In other countries on the continent, most sporting codes, especially football, are bankrolled by government but due to the socio-economic issues in the country, the funding model is different here according to Khoza.

Meanwhile, its been approximately four years now since PSL Executive Committee member and Golden Arrows owner Mato Madlala started Acting as the PSL CEO.

She’s now the second longest serving CEO at the PSL since the departure of the British bulldog Trevor Phillips who had two stints at the PSL, with his second stint lasting from 2002 to 2007.

Report by Velile Mnyandu