NDD fires back at Joe Mifsud with Malta v England TV rights missing contract

Friday, January 27, 2012, 16:29

Report source www.timesofmalta.com

The friendly football match between Malta and England 12 years ago was back in the limelight this week when the absence of a TV rights contract was highlighted in court despite the game having been shown live in the UK.

Testifying in a libel case instituted against him by former Malta Football Association president Joe Mifsud, his successor, Norman Darmanin Demajo, said the game played at Ta’ Qali was transmitted live on Sky Sports in the UK.

However, he added, the contract covering the sale of the TV rights to Sky Sports could not be found and the MFA never received a penny from the television company.

The TV rights for live transmission belong to the host country, in this case Malta, where the game is played.

At the time, Dr Mifsud was MFA president and a FIFA executive committee member while Mr Darmanin Demajo was the association’s treasurer.

Mr Darmanin Demajo said that about two months before the game, the company with which the MFA had a TV and perimeter advertising rights contract, CWL, had informed the association that it was not interested in the match.

“This is a very rare occurrence for CWL to decide not to transmit a game and, in this way, the rights of the game were back in the MFA’s hands,” Mr Darmanin Demajo explained.

Although he did not know whether there was a contract with Sky Sports, Mr Darmanin Demajo exhibited in court two other contracts signed by Dr Mifsud, which, he said, raised question marks.

The first was a contract with Skyville Partnership to sell perimeter advertising rights at the Ta’ Qali stadium for the England game worth $50,000.

Mr Darmanin Demajo said the MFA had received the money for this contract but pointed out a specific clause in it saying the match had to be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports. He added that, “The fact that Skyville did pay the money is confirmation that the game was actually shown on Sky Sports”.

A second contract worth $100,000, also signed by Dr Mifsud, was with Octagon CSI for TV rights to transmit the Malta-England game worldwide except for Malta, the UK and Ireland.

Mr Darmanin Demajo told the court he deemed it strange that Dr Mifsud sold the TV rights for the game to the rest of the world but no contract could be found for the TV rights sold to Sky Sports in the UK.

The England game was played on June 3, a month before the FIFA executive committee voted to award Germany the 2006 World Cup.

Germany won the bid by only one vote and the process was mired in controversy after allegations emerged in the German and British press that the German organising committee had offered cash to member associations represented on the executive committee.

Malta was mentioned as one of the countries that received cash in the form of a TV rights contract.

1 Comment

  1. cleavon attard says:

    y d hell hargu issa dawn l-affarijiet u mux fil-kampanja tal-presidenza ?


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