Political party, Congress of the People (COPE ) has called on the Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa to intervene in a dispute between the SABC and national soccer association, the South African Football Association (Safa).

This follows an announcement by the public broadcaster that it will not be broadcasting any national team matches – including the next two Bafana Bafana Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers at home.

Negotiations between the SABC and SAFA reached a deadlock regarding broadcast rights for matches and tournaments, when the latter reportedly requested 10 times more than what the SABC previously paid for matches.

COPE national spokesperson, Dennis Bloem says SAFA should not be taking advantage of the SABC’s difficult finances.

“Poor soccer lovers must now be punished because two stubborn entities don’t want to fight each other. It is also very clear that the SABC is in serious financial trouble. That cannot be exploited. Safa must also come to the party and rescue what is left of SABC,” explains Bloem.