Ethiopia’s state-owned broadcaster, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation could be on the verge of a serious FIFA sanction that could see the organization excluded from the world football governing body’s coterie of broadcasters and thus unable to purchase commercial rights from FIFA directly or indirectly.
The EBC could also be at the center of a lawsuit from FIFA with the broadcasting corporation reported to have aired games to its audience it didn’t have rights over.
The Ethiopian media group prior to the planetary football bonanza in Qatar did purchase broadcast rights for a limited number of games but was discovered to be illegally Broadcasting a larger number of games it didn’t have authorization to broadcast.
The action triggered FIFA’s free-to-air licensee for the territory New World Tv to bar the Ethiopian media access to the broadcast signal a few days after the start of the Tournament.
While the act was meant to curb the unlawful broadcast of games, a monitoring body set up to supervise the airing of world cup games realized that the EBC rather continued with the violations, further beaming games to its audience.
FIFA has now threatened to take legal action against the Ethiopian broadcaster as it seeks to preserve the rights of other media companies that purchased greater rights for the coverage of the world cup.
It is not the first time that FIFA is going to battle with media organizations over piracy and illegal broadcast of its games. During the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the globe’s football watchdog took legal action against a Saudi media group that pirated tv signals to illegally beam matches to its audience.
In 2018 FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino made harped on the urgency to tackle piracy which was costing the institution huge sums of money.
“Piracy is illegal we don’t like it and we must fight it. We have to fight it in any way that we can, we have partners, and we value our partners.” Fifa’s supremo Infantino stressed.