“We are not going to be stuck with a lawsuit for breaking the contract. These guys are crazy. “
The phrase was heard in Núñez and on the banks of the Riachuelo, almost simultaneously, like the statement that River and Boca presented on Friday. And it has to do with the situation that will arise if the Argentine Professional Soccer League (LPFA) goes ahead with the motion that it voted on Friday, prior to the draw for the Cup that was presented in Ezeiza: break the contract with Fox Sports.
Yes, as if it were an appendage of national politics, soccer has its own crack that was revealed when leaders of 20 of the 24 First Division clubs raised their hands and decided to terminate the contract with the North American chain in one-sided way.
The contract with Fox Sports for the televising of First Division football expired in 2027. Photo. Maxi Failla / Archive.
With the exception of River, Boca, Estudiantes – they did not participate in the Zoom in which everything was defined – and Talleres, whose vice president Rodrigo Escribano objected, the rest of the leaders raised their hands in favor of the position of removing Fox Sports from the middle .
The leaders of the LPFA say that River and Boca were aware of the issue that was going to be discussed in the virtual meeting. What’s more, they leaked the email in which they were quoted at 11:45 on Friday. Reality, as he found out Clarion, is that the two big ones did not agree to approve a measure that could lead to a trial.
After all, the contract with Fox Sports, now in the hands of Disney, expired in 2027. That is how it had been signed in had signed in 2017, when it was decided to extinguish the Fútbol Para Todos program and open the specifications to search for new screens.
So, Fox Sports He won the court with Turner, owner of 50% of the rights. Part of the Atlanta-based group, whose screen in Argentina is TNT Sports, He is not convinced to put the money, beyond the steps that his local leg is carrying out. Will the media conglomerate keep the complete package of Argentine soccer?
Even so, on Monday at 2:00 p.m. its Argentine representatives were summoned by the LPFA to advance in that regard. The version that Turner would improve the conditions for the rights of Argentine soccer was not communicated to the US headquarters.
Chiqui Tapia, president of the AFA, before the cameras at the Casa Rosada, where he attended a meeting for the return of football. Photo Marcelo Carroll.
However, they trusted this newspaper, the official notification of the dissolution of the contract by the LPFA did not reach the offices of Disney, who bought the chain Fox and she also owns ESPN. However, its directors warned that, if it is materialized, they will initiate legal actions.
What do they argue from the AFA? What Fox Sports did not report on time and form its merger with ESPN, something that was very clear with the passage of programs and journalists between their screens; also, with the broadcast of the Libertadores matches. In Viamonte, in addition, they believe without any valid argument that said merger will not be approved by the national government. And they also assure that there were differences and even a document letter signed by Claudio Tapia in which the disagreement with the editorial treatment of the football product was manifested in Fox Sports and later in ESPN.
Rodolfo D’Onofrio and Jorge Amopr Ameal, presidents of River and Boca, where there is hiding for the unconsulted breaking of the television contract. Photo Guillermo Adami / Archive
It was actually about an underground struggle to achieve an improvement of the agreement, since the eternal stand arranged by the Casa Rosada to combat the pandemic swept all sectors of the country’s economy. And the clubs, beyond the contribution of the members and the television channels themselves, were no exception.
The AFA, which has now regained control of the top flight through the LPFA, did so regardless of the consequences, damages, and losses. River and Boca say they did it behind their backs. Low, they deny them. That is why hours after the determination was known, they came out to express their disagreement.
Chiqui Tapia, Víctor Blanco, Marcelo Tinelli and Nicolás Russo with the Minister of Health, Ginés González, in a meeting at Casa Rosada for the restart of Soccer. Photo: Marcelo Carroll
How will the fight end? It is difficult because, as in politics, the leaders tend to change paths looking for sun and shade according to needs.
Once again, the AFA does not respect contracts, as happened in 2009, when Julio Grondona decided to erase with his elbow what he had written with his hand and hand over football to the Kirchner government. There was also a trial. History repeats itself, now with Tapia and Marcelo Tinelli as the main executors.