SAMINDRA KUNTI / AIPS – BRUSSELS: A change of media policy at the World Cup finals in Russia next month mean that world football federation FIFA will no longer stage the daily briefings which have been a regular media feature at previous tournaments.
Confirmation of the decision was delivered by FIFA’s head of media Hans Hultman at the annual congress of the international sports press association, AIPS, in Brussels.
Hultman explained that a review of the system had concluded that the daily briefings had proved unsatisfactory. However briefings will be staged in Moscow “when it is needed.” He added: “We still are expected to meet with the main press agencies and main media from around the world regularly.”
In the age of new media – bloggers, vloggers, social media journalists – Hultman also sought to clarify the rules and regulations for the media reporting activities at matchday press conferences.
Hultman said: “Recording it [the post-match press conference] is in principle not a problem, but transmitting is not allowed, not even later, because the rights belong to the rights holding licensees.”
FIFA opened the finals accreditation process after the final in Moscow last December. National football associations had been responsible for distributing the accreditation application access codes to journalists.
Hultman said: “To date we have approved approximately 3,500 applications from written press, websites, photographers. In total, with broadcasters, we will have around 15,000 media accreditations by the start of the World Cup.”
Media match tickets must be collected up until two hours before kickoff. Any no-show journalist will receive a yellow card: two yellow cards means a ban from the next match.
A different accreditation process has been set in place for FIFA Congress on the eve of the finals when the host for the 2026 World Cup will be elected. The media quota for congress is considerably limited and journalists may apply until May 13.
At the warm-up Confederations Cup in Russia last year fans could book free trains between host cities on matchdays. These trains will run again at the World Cup finals and a 10pc seating allocation for the group matches has been reserved for journalists who apply before May 15.
Free transport is not available on the standard Russian rail services.
In Kazan, Moscow and St Petersburg journalists can obtain local travel cards for public city transport. In the other eight host cities, the accreditation card will suffice.