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UEPS Kongres i New York

Mandag d. 14. juni 2004


Minutes of the 2004 UEPS Congress in New York, June 4.

Present: Executive Committee: Leif Nilsson (president) Sweden; Jerzy
Jakobsche (v.president), Poland; Morley Myers (secretary-general) Great
Britain; Erw Barthel (treasurer) Luxembourg; Emanuel Fantaneanu, Romania;
Michalis Gavrielides Cyprus; Esat Yilmaer, Turkey; Hans-Joachim Zwingmann,

Absent: Yannis Daras, Greece; Timo Jarvio, Finland; Alexander Ratner,

Delegates from: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece,
Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,
Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San
Marino, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, Ukraine.

Thirty-seven member associations present.

Following UEPS President Leif Nilsson's formal opening, AIPS President
Togay Bayatli was invited to address the delegates. President Bayatli said
this was the first time the United States had hosted an AIPS Congress and
we could take pride in the fact that the opening ceremony would take place
in the United Nations headquarters.
He emphasised the important role played by UEPS which was co-operating well
with AIPS.
President Bayatli reaffirmed that he would not be a candidate for AIPS
president at next year's election Congress in Morocco.

The minutes of the 2003 Porto Congress were approved.

Following the circulation of last year's minutes, James Magee of Ireland
had been the only candidate nominated to fill the vacancy on the UEPS
Executive Committee which had only 11 members.
After the Congress approved the nomination, President Nilsson said the
appointment was particularly important as Dublin had offered to host the
2006 UEPS election Congress.
The Irish delegate than made a short presentation, highlighting Ireland's
great love of sport and the attractions of its capital city. The decision
to bid for the Congress was taken at the Association's annual general
meeting following assurances of financial support.

The idea was first muted at last year's UEPS Congress and was pursued by
e-mail exchanges between the Irish Association, President Nilsson and UEPS
secretary-general Morley Myers.
The Congress formally approved Ireland's proposal to host the Congress,
which would be held during the first week of April.

Reidar Sollie, president of the Norwegian SJA, referred to problems
regarding media accommodation for the 2006 Torino Winter Games in Torino
and proposed that a member of the UEPS Board should be appointed to follow
up preparations. Gianni Merlo of Italy pointed out that the Torino Press
Officer was scheduled to address the AIPS Congress and could be questioned
then. He suggested AIPS should establish an Olympic Commission with major
newspapers and some Olympic experts which would carry power.
Morley Myers said the IOC Press Commission was the authorised body to deal
with Olympic media matters and although this Commission did not seem to be
serving our interests, it was important not to be in a conflict situation.
As a member of this Commission for 21 years, he felt more was accomplished
by the group of world agencies in separate negotiations. Although members
of the IOC Press Commission, these agencies acted more like outside ginger
President Bayatli, who has been an IOC Press Commission member for 10
years, said the IOC commissions had no authority and could only make
proposals. Prices of hotels and facilities in the venues were passed and
accepted by the IOC Executive Board before being discussed by the Press
He said many of the problems could be tackled much earlier. The IOC
Evaluation Commissions were at fault in not checking claims made by bid
cities regarding accommodation not enough hotels etc. It happened in
Athens and also Torino and in other games. He said he would raise this
point with the IOC Press Commission.
There were also problems with national quotas. AIPS members had to work
through the national Olympic committees and not the IOC Press Commission.
He urged members to write stories in their newspapers about the many
problems facing the media to show these concerns exist. It should be done
as a united effort.
Delegates were particularly critical about inflated accommodation costs,
some seeing it as a method the IOC was using to reduce the number of
written media.
President Nilsson said one answer would be to find alternative cheap
lodgings, saying many of our colleagues would be staying in downtown Athens
hotels which they had found themselves, by-passing the official IOC route.

President Nilsson started his report by informing delegates about the
tragic situation regarding former vice-president Kuki Bergant, who is still
hospitalised after suffering a severe heart attack late last year.
"He will never return to a normal life and our thoughts are with him and
his family. I have expressed our sympathy in a letter to his wife and son.
He was a great worker within UEPS and we will for ever be thankful to him."

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2004 UEPS Congress minutes 2

Describing his activities since last year's Congress, President Nilsson
said during the summer he was was invited to the Nordic sports journalist
Congress in Rovaniemi, Finland, from June 19 to 22 and at the end of the
following month he visited Paris for the EOC Youth Festival where he took
part in a seminar for young sports journalists. He gave a lecture on "Sport
and modern media" including "Women sport and modern media".
In October he attended an AIPS board meeting in London and visited Brussels
October 30 for a meeting with the commissioner Madam Vivian Reding, who
presented a project called European Year of Education through Sport 2004.
He took the opportunity of introducting UEPS as an organisation for future
co-operation with the EU.
The UEPS Committee met in Warsaw on January 10 and president Nilsson
thanked vice-president Jerzy Jakobsche for all his efforts in arranging the
event. During the stay in Warsaw, President Nilsson and UEPS board member
Timo Järviö visited the newspaper office of Trybuna where they gave an
interview about UEPS activities.
The following week he went to Budapest together with the General Secretary
Morley Myers and Treasurer Erw Barthel for a joint meeting with the AIPS
President Nilsson said he tried to keep the travelling as low as possible
due to financial reasons.
Regarding other activities, President Nilsson said he had been in contact
with the new executive chief of UEFA Lars-Christer Olsson a number of times
by phone and letter as well as meeting him in person in Stockholm during
the 100 year celebration of the Swedish Football Association.
These contacts resulted in UEFA promising UEPS 20,000 SF to be used for a
seminar for young sports journalists. UEPS had wanted to produce a magazine
for EURO 2004 in co-operation with UEFA, but UEFA said they were more
interested in a seminar and also promised to provide some lecturers.
President Nilsson said there was no time to stage a seminar during EURO
2004 and an alternative time and place will have to be found.
The president then described his meetings with Irish representatives at the
2003 Porto Congress which eventually led to Dublin's decision to host the
2006 UEPS Congress.
President Nilsson expressed his disappointment at a failed project - the
publication of a magazine for the 2003 European Basketball Championships in
Sweden. Information was given, contacts were made, advertising secured and
a deadline set to July 15.
"Unfortunately only my own article arrived in time. After pushing
colleagues around Europe, only half of the material arrived and a few weeks
before the tournament we had to cancel the project. I will not comment on
this other than say that I am disappointed," he told delegates.
Prior to the championships, he had worked as media advisor to the
organisers and during the tournament as press officer in one of the four
cities where the group matches were staged.

In his report, secretary-general Myers said 2004 was a momentous year in
Europe with the forthcoming European Football Championships in Portugal and
the Athens Olympics.
But sadly any meaningful involvement of UEPS and AIPS regarding media
matters for these two major events had been minimal.
There were accreditation problems related to Euro 2004, while we were again
faced with over-inflated accommodation prices to cover the Olympics in
The secretary-general provided a brief summary of two important meetings
-the UEPS Committee meeting in Warsaw on January 10 and the joint AIPS/UEPS
Board meeting in Budapest on January 17.
The Warsaw minutes had been circulated, but the secretary-general reminded
delegates about the major topics which came under the microscope.
The AIPS and UEPS Congresses in New York were discussed and concerns were
expressed about potential visa problems and the changed date which is only
a few days before the start of Euro 2004.
Regarding Euro 2004, the Greek National Association had sent President
Nilsson a letter complaining about the lack of co-operation between
organizers of UEFA competitions and our national sports journalists
associations relating to
accreditations. Concern was expressed at UEFA's decision to use the
internet for applications for the Championships in Portugal. This meant
anyone could apply with no checks or balances regarding the professional
credentials of applicants. This also created a potential security risk.
President Nilsson said he would pursue the matter with UEFA's new CEO
Lars-Christer Olsson.
It was noted that there were still only 11 members instead of 12 on the
UEPS Committee and nominations should be requested to fill the vacant slot.
Commenting on the annual poll for European Sportsman and Sportswoman of the
year, the general-secretary praised vice-president Jakobsche for conducting
another successful operation.
German formula one world champion Michael Schumacher won the Frank Taylor
Trophy as the European Sportsman of the Year for 2003. Belgian tennis
player Justine Henin-Hardenne, winner of the French and US Opens, headed
the women's poll.
Thirty-four national associations voted, but there were notable absences
from such prominent countries as Italy, Portugal and Spain despite numerous
The secretary-general said he had been invited to Athens in May to
participate in the launch of the European Research Centre for the
Prevention of Unsporting Behaviour.
The Centre is the brainchild of the International Foundation of Olympic
Sport and Sport Education (FOSE) and will focus on the problems facing
sport, such as violence, cheating, corruption, discrimination and bigotry.
Most of the participants were academics - scientists and university
professors - while his role was to concentrate on media aspects.
It was a positive step for UEPS to be included in this project which will
involve European sporting bodies, governments and educationalists. It was
also very timely coming just before Euro 2004.

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2004 UEPS Congress minutes 3

Presenting his report for the financial year 2003, treasurer Erw Barthel
said UEPS had a balance of 41,947 Euros on January 1 and 20,112 Euros on
Dec. 31.
Administration costs were similar to previous years. The high expenditure
under the category of meetings was primarily due to extensive travelling by
President Nilsson in order to promote UEPS and find sponsors. This was an
enormously difficut but very necessary task.
UEPS received 20,000 Swiss Francs from UEFA to boost the UEPS bank balance.
Publications were an obvious potential source of income, but these did not
always materialise as had happened with the 2003 European Basketball
Championship magazine where we had anticipated a large amount of
advertising .
The UEPS financial statement also included belated payment from Turkey for
an advertisement which appeared the 25th anniversary book published in
2002, where the only other advertising contribution came from Luxembourg.
The two UEPS committee members who found these advertisements renounced
their 15 percent entitlement in order to help UEPS.
The treasurer said the financial situation should improve this year when
UEPS receives about $30,000 from AIPS membership cards.
Treasurer Barthel ended on a cautionary note, saying UEPS needed to find
other sources of income. Otherwise it would be very difficult in the future
to keep a solid bank balance.

EURO 2004
Following the presentation of the officers' reports, President Nilsson
expanded on the problems arising from using the internet for media
accreditations for Euro 2004.
President Nilsson said he had drawn the attention of UEAF officials to the
potential dangers in this system because anyone in the street could ask for
accreditation. UEFA subsequently sent the list of each country back to the
Football Associations to co-operate with all the national sports
journalists associations to check every name. This had been done in Sweden
and many other countries.
However, there was a flaw in the system because Europe consisted of only 47
UEPS member nations to carry out checks, but in Portugal there will be
journalists from all over the world which could create difficulties in
checking procedures.
It was more important than ever to check the validity of journalists
because of the security issue. Major sports events were a high-class target
for terrorism.
Jorge Ribeiro, President of the Portuguese Association, told delegates that
the tournament organisers had made no contact at all with his Association.
"They have never asked our opinion about the many problems which we know
about or asked for any help."
Before closing the Congress, president Nilsson asked any members covering
the event to send him a report of their experiences. This was done for Euro
2000 and he had summarised them and presented the compilation to UEFA.
"Hopefully they will have taken the criticisms into account in the run-up
to Portugal," he said.