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09.11.2007 Football News

GHANA 2008 Accreditation Saga

By Daily Guide

NOT a day goes by without major news breaking about sports bodies like the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the West African Football Union (WAFU) and other associations.

Though the Communication Divisions of these organizations are available to the Ghana 2008 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the African Cup of Nations to give advice or answer questions that may arise during the organization of the forthcoming event, from all indications, the LOC has not used the expertise of these outfits.

It would be recalled that when CAF ordered all media personnel who wish to cover GHANA 2008 to fill an online form to tender for accreditation before the deadline, the LOC was divided over the identification of local and foreign media.

Since the LOC came into existence, there have been many instances of journalists having completed forms with all their documents and their passport photos, only to be told that their application has gone missing so they must start again with only a few days to the event.

Frustratingly once again, with GHANA 2008 fast-approaching, the LOC is now asking the local media to restart the whole accreditation process.

This has happened because the LOC failed to call only for the coordination of professional journalists, with at least four of five-time experiences in Cup of Nations coverage, in order to avoid misunderstanding and unpleasant surprises.

A clear line of information and organization is essential between the LOC and the media. This direct form of contact could come from daily exchanges between the two bodies. Media professionals seem to be so often neglected by a lot of organizations.

In this country, companies mostly use marketing officers in place of public relation officers (PROs) or journalists to coordinate with the media when it comes to matters of communication. Indeed, the LOC has failed to bring on board the services of professional media personnel.

Accreditation for the media is a vital organizational component of an event, as it helps the press to project the image of the competition. It is also a means of controlling access to the event.

However, not just anybody is capable of being a media coordinator or press attaché, especially during an important national and international event such as the Cup of Nations.

When an application for accreditation is submitted, it must include some proof of the individual's right to be admitted as media personnel.

Most journalists are aware that in accordance with the number of places available for an event, a media officer will have to be selective about place allocation to fulfill various media categories.

A completed application form will not automatically guarantee an accreditation for media coverage.

By Pierre Toto

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