Sanef questions FIFA decision

2010-06-13 20:57
Johannesburg - The SA National Editors' Forum said on Sunday it was concerned that the FIFA authorities had breached an agreement over the terms and conditions applying to media accreditation for the Soccer World Cup.

Sanef was reacting to the withdrawal of two City Press journalists' accreditation during the opening ceremony of the tournament at Soccer City on Friday.

Sanef said in a statement that one of the fundamental issued discussed between it and FIFA was the soccer body's authority to summarily withdraw a journalist's accreditation. FIFA undertook to allow the media to make representations against withdrawal of accreditation if the offence was not so serious as to warrant summary withdrawal.

"This was not done on the opening night of the games during the match between South Africa and Mexico when officials summarily withdrew the accreditation of two City Press reporters covering the event," the Sanef statement read.

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One of the reporters was video filming the proceedings although she only had accreditation as a newspaper reporter.

"One of the reporters was clearly in breach of her accreditation terms and conditions by video filming the proceedings and was quite rightly ordered to cease doing so."

A second reporter had her accreditation withdrawn when she looked at the video footage the first one had recorded.

Sanef said although the first reporter had breached her accreditation conditions, the second one had not done anything wrong.

In both instances FIFA also went back on its undertaking to have the editor make a representation in defence of the reporters.

"Sanef takes a serious view of this omission because it was a fundamental principle requested not only by Sanef, but by all media organisations under the umbrella of the News Media Coalition and the SA Media Interest Group which consulted with FIFA over the terms and conditions."

Both reporters' accreditation were later reinstated.

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