ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The International Sports Press Association has condemned journalists’ “deplorable” behavior at the Africa Cup of Nations after several incidents including fighting and celebrating in the stands.
“Being a journalist means behaving properly, and above all, exercising restraint. Certain behaviors are simply unworthy of a profession as noble as journalism,” AIPS said in a statement Wednesday.
Many accredited reporters covering this edition of the Africa Cup 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 rushing to get on buses to and from games, their patience thin because of chaotic organization and frequent changes to announced schedules.
Some arguments around matches were also reported — between Guinean and Senegalese journalists before their nations’ group game, and between Moroccan media and South African representatives during their teams’ match on Tuesday.
“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,” AIPS wrote, referring to the Africa Cup by its French acronym.
“The media work spaces (press gallery, mixed zone, conference room) have been transformed into a boxing ring, or even simply transformed into a dancefloor or performance zone hosted by media badge holders,” it said.
The association called for national member associations to work more on “training and capacity building” of journalists regarding their coverage of sporting events.
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