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CAF taking steps to tackle “unprofessional” behavior by journalists at AFCON

CAF taking steps to tackle “unprofessional” behavior by journalists at AFCON
CAF president Patrice Motsepe speaks during a press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, on March 16, 2021.   -  
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Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.

Ivory Coast

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.

CAF said Friday (Feb. 02) 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and abuses other media colleagues will be immediately removed by security and his/her accreditation will be withdrawn,” said CAF, which said the same goes for “any media representative who is involved in a fight in media areas or physical scuffle.”

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 of Nations.

“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.

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