Only 4,000 sports journalists for UEFA finals in France
Only Four Thousand sports journalists from across the globe will be accredited to cover the 15th finals of the UEFA European Champions League, which starts on the 10th of June and ends on the 10th of July 2016, it was disclosed by UEFA Head of Events Services Lukas Achermann. (Photo: The furious AIPS Global President Gianni Merlo)
Making his presentation at the opening ceremony of the ongoing 79th Global Congress of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in Doha Qatar, Lukas Achermann said that as at the close of the deadline for registration January this year about 4,600 sports Journalists have applied for accreditation to cover the second phase of the competition which is the finals.
“However, let me officially inform you that UEFA will give accreditation to only 4,000 sports journalists worldwide,” he said, to the amazement of the over 100 participants who had expected an increase in this year’s quota as compared to the last European Champions League finals.
He continued that the body’s media department would select sports journalists for accreditation based on their regions of origin, the number of times they have covered the tournament and also by communicating with their national sports associations and not necessarily you being an AIPS card holder.
Another statement that sent shivers done the spine of the 103 participants was that UEFA would not even provide free transportation within Paris for those lucky accredited 4,000 sports journalist to cover the final matches.
Lukas Achermann’s second pronouncement infuriated the AIPS Global President Gianni Merlo, who described it as “a shame!”
“It is a shame considering the many traveling the journalists would have to get involved in Paris to cover most if not all of the 24 matches in the finals,” bellowed Merlo, who later added: “ the French Railway can do more and UEFA should push to improve on the current situation…this is not Correct!” He made reference to Germany for instance which accorded journalists such facility in one of the finals thereby making the job of the journalists simple.
However, Gianni Merlo’s appeal fell on deaf ears as Lukas Achermann told the congress UEFA had done everything in their powers to convince the host to assist in that direction, but to no avail.
By Frank Cole in Doha, Qatar
Credit: SWASAL, Sponsor: Mercury International (SL) Ltd.
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