KEIR RADNEDGE / BAKU: Whatever the negative reports coming out of Brazil ahead of the World Cup, journalists have been assured that everything for them will be ready and in working order.
That message was delivered here today by Alain Leiblang, world federation FIFA’s head of World Cup media operations, to the 90th anniversary congress of international sports media association AIPS*.
Accredited media at the finals will total 16,000 made up of 3,500 written press and internet, 900 photographers and 12,000 television/radio including technicians.
Worldwide media reports have been full of concern about the delays in stadia construction, about street protests and about security.
However Leiblang said: “The World Cup will happen in the 12 designated cities – even if our Brazilian colleagues are working until the last minute it will work.
“All the games will take place with 22 players, the referees and everything will be on TV all around the world. You will have the possibility to work without problems. Everything will work.
“Some work will be going on until nearly the end of the preparation time. For the moment FIFA has to receive the stadia around May 25 so there are three good weeks to complete the work. Then we will have the stadia and be able to build the temporary structures – which means media centres, media tribunes, mixed zones, press conferences rooms.”
FIFA will be employing two media officers at each of the 12 venues pls two ‘floating officers.’ They will be supported from the Local Organising Committee by 12 venue press officers and deputies plus their staffs and around 80 media-dedicated volunteers per venue.
As in the past a ticket (known as a Supplementary Access Device) will be necessary to access the media tribune on match days.
Media will benefit from free internet cable and wifi in tribunes and media centres though power lines will not be available to those media seats without desks in the stadia.
Tribunes capacity will be 300 with desks and 300 without desks at group stage and second round matches, 400 + 400 at the quarter-finals, 800 + 800 at the semi-finals and 1,000 + 1,000 for the Opening Match in Sao Paulo and the Final in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana.
Leiblang promised: “Everything will work. We have time to finish everything.”
** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide. More information: www.AIPSmedia.com
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