The cancellation of the beIN Sports deal means that CAF currently has no major international broadcasters four months before January’s Africa Cup of Nations, whose final qualifying round takes place over the next 10 days.
In addition, both CAF’s continental club competitions – the Champions League and Confederation Cup – are scheduled to start in November, although the newly created African Football League kicks off before then.
This tournament, set to feature eight teams, will take place in October in Rwanda but despite its name and location, the competition is largely being run by football’s world governing body Fifa, and not Caf.
“This competition is a great and effective way of taking African football to the next level, and that is something I am personally delighted to see,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino said last week.
The beIN cancellation means there is no major broadcaster for this tournament, with widespread reports in May – which came shortly after Caf signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Arabia Football Federation – suggesting the latter would put up $200m per season having never materialised.
As a result, a competition which Caf president Patrice Motsepe said last year would feature 24 teams, and $100m in total prize money, has been stripped down to just eight (with Petro Atletico’s presence uncertain after the Angolan federation recently banned the side for two years for fixing matches).