Mediapro, the group responsible for installing the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) imposed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on the African federations that organize football tournaments and competitions, is not about to set foot in Algeria, much less to win contracts there.
His final and final presence on Algerian soil caused a lot of inconvenience. An investigation was opened a few hours before the second leg of the Confederation of African Football Cup, USM Alger – Young Africans (Tanzania), about the circumstances of his presence in Algeria and, above all, the presentation of his material. The ongoing investigation lifts the veil on everything related to this file.
According to (unconfirmed) information, officials of the Algerian Football Federation (Al FAF) were asked to provide all the information in their possession regarding the presence and activities of Mediapro in Algeria during the Algerian Cup semi-finals and the tournament final. Confederation Cup. There could have been deep disagreements between the leaders of the Portuguese group and the leaders of Algerian television over the re-broadcast of the USMA-Young Africans meeting and the use of VAR.
The dispute between the two parties arose very early and crystallized on the final appointment of June 3 localization. Mediapro wanted it to be held at Mandela Stadium. USMA announced that the match would be played at the 5th of July Stadium. Algerian television supported the decision of the Algerian club. Under the guidance of Mediapro, the Confederation of African Football pressed for the final in Baraki.
In a sign of the Algerian team’s unwillingness to change its mind, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Mediapro imposed strict conditions that Algerian television had to meet for the match to be played at the 5th of July stadium. They demanded many things at the same time. Among others is the Spider Game, also called Specimen 5 used during CAF competitions.
Threats and provocations against Algeria
Algerian TV masters this technology and installs it in every major football event. CAF’s second claim was the use of Slow Motion, a high-speed camera capable of producing 5 images per second.
The Confederation of African Football did not raise this demand in the first-leg match from Al-Ahly Cairo and Wydad Casablanca. The hours leading up to the final on June 3, 2023, were hectic. After reports of Mediapro equipment being returned to the national territory without all authorizations being validated by the appropriate party, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, together with the Ministry of Information, has reportedly informed Mediapro that it does not have the right to install VAR for being in Algeria without All necessary licenses.
The test request you submitted 24 hours before the final kick-off has not been validated. Meanwhile, Algerian television used major means to ensure good coverage of the event. 26 cameras are deployed in the stadium. Everything was in place several hours before kick-off.
After being informed of the decision to prevent Mediapro from installing the VAR, the federation’s general secretary (Véron) rushed to the stretchers and shouted at the federation leaders and representatives of Algerian television: “Why did you expel Mediapro? You will pay for it”, shocking a witness present at the scene. He is not the only host from Algeria who has made these remarks. Portuguese Carlos Santos’ “good offices between CAF and Mediapro” went further.
During a meeting here in Algiers, he said that “everything is bad in Algeria. Go see and learn what your neighbors are doing.” A witness during this scene confirms: “After this person’s notes, I wrote a detailed report which I submitted to my superiors. I don’t know if a follow-up was done or not. This Portuguese has walked the boardrooms and corridors of Algerian stadiums from the Mediterranean Games in Oran to the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, including the U-17 Arab Cup and CHAN 2023.
It is this sad person, authorized by CAF, who is of pronca origin, that the Mandela Stadium crowd is dedicated to Rabah Madjer during CHAN. According to the audiovisual specialist, “he planned with his technicians the negative reaction of a part of the audience that booed the former international and national team coach.” With CAF and Mediapro, Algeria doesn’t just have friends, now Mediapro can collect and put their dilapidated equipment and dump other markets to sell their shoddy goods.
CAF seems willing to support him in this way. The box, carried at arm’s length by a breathless CAF and looking for support to run the machine, could not serve in the final return CAF 2023 which was played without VAR.