Access for all – if you can afford it

By Keir Radnedge, AIPS football commission chairman

As the new football season gets underway, the time comes to review aspects of the working conditions at the World Cup in Germany during the summer.

Fifa and the German local organising committee provided a comprehensive working environment in terms of stadium media centre facilities and internet information access (if, contentiously, journalist and/or employer could afford it).

But journalists lacking either internet savvy or “home desk” back-up to assist with logistics found little on-site support. Just because Fifa has moved forward technologically does not mean every media outlet or reporter has done the same.

Apart from the issue of no-shows and effective organisation of waiting lists, Germany also saw, for the first time, post-match press conference access controlled by ticket. The methodology as to how those tickets were allocated remained unclear.

Another contentious aspect of the corralling of the media is the tight restriction on access to coaches and players. This was compounded – or eased – depending on federation preference. Some countries threw player access wide on “open days” while others jealously guarded only the handful of players they dared let out for a few minutes.

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