PARIS: FIFA’s first Women’s Football Convention in Paris drew 600 delegates from all around the planet. Several of the speakers urged the media to play its own role in increasing visibility of the women’s game writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Unfortunately a rights dispute prompted a number of media outlets to drop plans to cover the convention.

Agence France Presse, on home ground in the French capital was one. A company note to clients did not waste words, stating baldly: “AFP regrets that we are not able to provide video coverage of FIFA’s Women Football Convention, on June 6 and 7 in Paris.

“This decision follows a disagreement over restrictions on the use of images shot by our own teams.”

The News Media Coalition, which polices rights restrictions, said that AFP had been only one of a pack of major news agencies to take such action over a copyright.

An NMC statement said: “FIFA’s policy means removing journalist video news material from digital news sites after a specified period – for the convention and FIFA’s decision-making Congress – it’s the end of the year; news material from Women’s World Cup training sessions on the eve of matches must be deleted after 48 hours.

“Digital outlets such as news publications that are not official rights holders cannot use any in-venue content at all on match-day including press conferences or ‘mixed zone’ interviews.”

A FIFA spokesperson responded that nothing had changed in terms of the world football federation’s long-standing operating requirements.

FIFA said: “The clause [at issue] is not new and has been agreed to previously by the news agencies, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

“What it prevents is footage taken at FIFA’s events being the permanent intellectual property of a third party, and therefore underpins the commercial programme that enables FIFA to generate media, marketing and licensing revenues that fund all of FIFA’s work in world football.”

It added: “FIFA’s news access regulations remain amongst the broadest of all international federations/events, allowing news agencies to cover the event alongside bona fide rights licensees.”