Mitchell Obi, AIPS Africa President
LAGOS, Nigeria, June 20, 2019 – In another attempt to control the news regarding African football affairs, the journalist Nazim Bessol, working for Algerian newspaper Botola, has seen his accreditation for the African Cup of Nations revoked.
Initially Bessol received a confirmation approval letter with accreditation number 1206. However yesterday Bessol received an email from CAF explaining, without justification, that his accreditation had been revoked and his status on THE media channel had been altered from “approved” to “rejected”.
AIPS Africa links this to the investigation conducted the journalist and the newspaper about the company Tactical Steel, mysteriously introduced as main CAF supplier, which led to CAF president Ahmad Ahmad being arrested and interrogated French police over corruption allegations.
The association therefore condemns the CAF decision to revoke Nazim Bessol’s accreditation and sees it as another attempt to stop the freedom of the media, a direct and blatant response to the investigations.
I am already in direct contact with AIPS President Gianni Merlo for a global appraisal on what it is another assault on the independence of thought of the sports media.
From the continental prism of AIPS Africa we are totally saddened the resource of the CAF and the brutish show of disrespect to the sports media in Africa.
This action comes from a team that promised change AFTER winning the LAST CAF election and its first despicable act was to scrap the CAF Media committee in a bizarre logic of reorganisation, which partly includes annulling the accreditation of a sports journalist two days before the event.
AIPS Africa firmly and fervently condemns this ominous act and shares with the Algerian Sports Media the same sentiments duly expressed in seeking an immediate reversal of this unwholesome act.
We won’t hesitate to go the distance in checking this brazen attempt to hide under the cloak of a collective fold and pursue dark and personal agendas.