CAF taking steps to tackle 'unprofessional' behavior by journalists at Africa Cup

Fri, Feb 2, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

CAF taking steps to tackle 'unprofessional' behavior by journalists at Africa Cup

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) - The Confederation of African Football is taking steps to tackle what it calls the "escalating unbecoming and unprofessional" conduct of journalists at the Africa Cup of Nations.

It comes after several incidents, including reporters fighting among each other and celebrating in the stands.

CAF said Friday it met with the local organizing committee and police to find workable solutions, and that it had raised its concerns with several organizations representing journalists at the tournament.

"Going forward any media practitioner who is involved in wild celebrations and abuses other media colleagues will be immediately removed by security and his/her accreditation will be withdrawn," said CAF, which said the same goes for "any media representative who is involved in a fight in media areas or physical scuffle."

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CAF also said that filming in the media tribune and live streaming from the mixed zone are prohibited, and that vulgar language toward coaches or players will not be tolerated.

Ghanaian journalists were involved in a standoff with the Ghana team after its group-stage exit when it became clear that the players were avoiding the customary post-game mixed zone. The players were escorted to the team bus amid increased security.

On Wednesday, the International Sports Press Association condemned journalists' "deplorable" behavior at this edition of the Africa Cup.

"Between pitched battles, attacks, invectives, it is a distressing spectacle that certain colleagues have been delivering to the world since the start of CAN 2023," the association said, referring to the Africa Cup by its French acronym.

Many accredited reporters covering the tournament have been wearing their national team jerseys and vocally supporting their teams during games, loudly celebrating any goals or victories. An Ivorian with press credentials was filmed dancing shirtless after the team's win on penalties over Senegal.

There have also been frequent arguments among media scrambling for buses at the tournament, while there were also altercations between Guinean and Senegalese journalists before their nations' group game, and between Moroccan media and South African representatives during their teams' match on Tuesday.

The quarterfinals start later Friday.

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CIARAN FAHEY Fahey is a Berlin-based reporter for The Associated Press, covering sports in Germany and beyond. twitter instagram mailto "
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