May 31 Match and Priorities at Giving Accreditation
The events that took place on May 3, had been awaited with great interest not only by the football world. It was only few times when Georgia appeared on the map of UEFA as a hot spot, and May 31 was exactly one such case.
It’s no surprise that many people would have come for the send-off of Kaladze- the tickets were sold in three days. Yet, only a few of really knew where had Kaladze played and who was Paolo Maldini. The fact that media would as well have been interested in the event (419 applications for approx. 200 seats) was expected also. But despite of certain prerequisites, the process of accreditation took its course in a very weird manner.
Parallel to sending applications for the accreditation( which we did the first day), we also called the organizers of the game almost every day, from the very beginning, telling them that we, Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters(GARB), which unites 20 regional televisions and provides materials from Tbilisi, had to attend the game and be given the same access as the other televisions. They assured us that everything was gonna be fine.
In spite of the promise, upon my coming to obtain accreditation I had discovered that it had only been given to the operator, and, in addition, for the press places solely. This meant that we had been only allowed to make several shoots from above and cover the press-conference. Naturally, I expressed my protest (who would care about the accreditation at the moment?!), but the woman who was checking lists, railed at me, to the say least, and told me that 22 televisions had submitted their applications and the priority was given to the best at sports coverages. And who the hell are you?! What are you covering?! It’s not only about seeing the stars, its about providing the coverage of “Chikhura’s” playing,- she said. But I say that the regional televisions pay enough attention to sports, including football. They not only the games of FC“Chikhura”, but also with FC “Gori Dila” (something which is really ease to verify).
Moreover- parallel to covering the national championship, they also make coverages providing research in regard to the reason of several clubs’ having financial problems after the period of success.
Finally, when I couldn’t take that indirect kind of scolding anymore, I told them to stop shouting at me. They gave me with the invitation card and let me loose. At the moment they were explaining how tired they were, how difficult period it was for them( which I clearly understand, however that circumstance doesn’t justify their arrogant attitude and shouting. And when it becomes too hard for two people to cope with their duties, the manager must in this case employ the third and the fourth person), and that they didn’t want to upset anybody, etc. But then they kind of “threatened” me that I couldn’t get close to Maldini( while I didn’t have a slightest intention of that).
It’s hard to believe, but the only televisions that had been confined to the press seats without letting us to shoot from below, were the Music Box and those of GARB. I don’t even mention the tone of address and arrogant attitude towards them( Move! Why are standing here for?! Quickly, move, get lost! etc.)
Despite that we’d been gathered and warned a few days before the game in regard to what and how we were supposed to do, it turned out that photo shooting at the press-conference was granted. Furthermore, even being without accreditation, I could freely attend the press-conference and managed to get really close to Maldini and photograph him to my heart’s content. Meanwhile nobody seemed to interfere with me or warn me. And there were many journalists like me in the hall.
The moral of the story: I don’t know why it was necessary to stir up that kind of fuss before the game, as well as giving strict warnings to media representatives and telling them off for not covering the games with “Chikhura”. Only to allow some of the things in the end?....Why did those responsible for granting accreditation have to temporarily play the role of monsters?- another thing I don’t understand. But I believe that the fact of oppressing the regional media( despite its interest towards sports) is a big failure on the part of the organizers. So this post is an attempt to draw their attention and make them realize the aforementioned misconduct.