Kumasi Asante Kotoko have described the Ghana Football Association’s position on their video recording impasse as “absurd, primitive and backward” and are threatening to stop live coverage of their matches on StarTimes if the football governing body does not back down.
In a strongly worded letter to the GFA, Kotoko confirmed widespread reports that they are prepared to refund $5,000, which is their first share of the $15,000 due each club under the TV rights deal.
Kotoko’s opening game of the season against Techiman Eleven Wonders was delayed over a disagreement about whether they had a right to film the game for educational purposes via their new sponsor VEO.
The GFA says clubs are not allowed to independently record the matches and have directed them to source the footage from StarTimes if they need it.
Kotoko say they won’t budge.
“Should you continue to insist on this absurd, primitive, and backward approach to the development of the game, we would want you to furnish us with your account details in which we would refund the $5,000 out of the $15,000 you were supposed to pay clubs as sponsorship package from StarTimes and also instruct of our decision to cease dealing with StarTimes.”
The club insists it can simply not rely on the TV right holders.
“As a progressive club, we are sorry to inform you that we cannot rely on the post-match footage from StarTimes for technical analysis, since it does not provide the necessary ingredients especially for analysis.”
The GFA insists filming of matches by clubs infringes on its contractual obligations with StarTimes but Kotoko is requesting a copy of that letter.
“To this end, we wish to request a copy of the contract between the GFA and StarTimes to enable us ascertain our rights and obligations and the relevant breaches with regard to clubs filming their matches. If we do not receive a copy of the contract by Monday the 23rd of November 2020, we would not be in a position to honour any obligations towards StarTimes since we cannot honour obligations without knowing our rights.”
That is not Kotoko’s only gripe with the rights holder and the football association though.
The club also took issues with having to pay to facilitate their matches being played in the evening.
“Another disturbing matter has to do with the decision to make us pay GH¢3500 representing cost of floodlights charge to enable StarTimes broadcast the match. This is dangerous for the development of the game. It was not our decision to play the matches in the evening but that of StarTimes as a result of the benefits that accrued to them.”