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UEPS-kongressen

Mandag d. 9. juni 2003

Referat fra UEPS-kongressen i Oporto, hvor de danske delegerede var Steen Ankerdal og Flemming Olesen:

Minutes of the 2003 UEPS Congress in Oporto, Portugal,
May 29

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

Apologies for absence: Alexander Ratner, Russia.

Delegates from: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus,
Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain,
Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,
Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia,
Serbia-Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
Turkey, Ukraine.

Thirty-six member associations present.

The Congress began with one minute's silence in memory of the former AIPS
and UEPS President Frank Taylor, who passed away in July, 2002 at the age
of 81.

AIPS President Togay Bayatli gave an opening address in which he stressed
the importance of Europe among the continental sections. Many of the major
international sports events were being staged in Europe, including next
years European Football Championships in Portugal and the 2003 European
Basketball Championships in Sweden. Lots of very important European
championships were scheduled and UEPS was working hard to become accepted
as the responsible partner organisation for media matters, he told
delegates."The media side at European competitions should be handled by
UEPS not AIPS, which should be involved in world championships and
Olympics."
President. Bayatli said AIPS wanted to help UEPS and was prepared to hire
secretarial help for UEPS.

2002 CONGRESS MINUTES
The minutes of the 2002 Athens Congress were approved and there were no
matters arising.

PROPOSALS:
Reidar Sollie, president of the Norwegian SJA, referred to the forthcoming
AIPS Congress where delegates would be invited to elect former FIFA
President Joao Havelange as an honorary AIPS member. He said his
Association was opposed to this motion. "In our point of view while it is
necessary that our sports journalists associations co-operate with sports
organisations, it is important to separate our roles."
He then read out the Norwegian proposals: "With all respect for Mr. Joao
Havelange, UEPS cannot see the reason to elect a former sports
administrator as an honorary member of a sports journalist organisation.
UEPS cannot support this election."
President Nilsson said this was a matter for the AIPS delegates to decide
and not UEPS . He pointed out that the AIPS regulations allowed for the
election of honorary members who were not sports journalists, but supported
our profession and organisation.
Speaking in support of Mr. Havelanges selection, AIPS President Bayatli
said Havelenges successor Sepp Blatter had already been awarded honorary
membership along with former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch and
current president Jacques Rogge. "We are not saying they are in our
profession, but that we respect them for what they have done for AIPS." In
addition to contributing money to AIPS, they had provided free spaces and
places for the media at their events. Further support had been provided in
other areas, such as seminars.
The proposal was put to the vote and resulted in only five delegates
supporting Norways motion, while 24 approved of Mr. Havelanges election and
there six abstentions.

PRESIDENT´S REPORT
President Nilsson then delivered the UEPS Presidents report as circulated
to the Congress delegates in Oporto. He also updated the situation
regarding the UEFA sponsorship money to UEPS, saying it was expected soon,
via AIPS.
He was asked whether UEPS or AIPS was intervening regarding the alarming
media accommodation situation at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
President Nilsson recommended that delegates should try to find a hotel
through their own resources. During his visit to Athens in March with the
Swedish NOC, he found that the official media hotel prices were extremely
high and there was nothing he could do to make them change their minds. He
brought this matter to the attention of the AIPS Board, pointing out that
that for many years the official press hotels have had a tendency to go up
in price. "What we can do is to go to the IOC and explain the situation to
them and try to make them keep the cost of hotels on a normal basis."

AIPS President Bayatli told the Congress that he was a serving member of
the IOC press commission and they had not held a meeting for two years. A
meeting was arranged to be held at the time of the 2000 Salt Lake City
Olympics and although he stayed on for two extra days, the meeting was
cancelled by the Commission chairman Kevan Gosper. "He is not really doing
a serious job for the Commission and I complained about this to IOC
President Jacques Rogge, explaining the media villages and hotels in Athens
were very, very expensive. It is unbearable especially with the economic
situation of the media and something should be done about it."
President Bayatli said he would be attending a meeting in Athens shortly
after the Congress .
"I will try to protect the rights of the journalist as much as I can. IOC
is an umbrella for the IOC, NOCs, International Sports Federations and the
IOC members. The sports journalists should also be like this We have to
bargain with them about the prices, but at the end the owner of the
organisation is the IOC and when they decide on prices, there is nothing we
can do."
Intervening, secretary-general Myers said he had served on the IOC press
commission for 21 years since 1980 and the Commission had not really
functioned properly since 1990. The policy changed after the 1988 Seoul
Olympics. Any input from the press on the commission was just subjugated.
The IOC Press Commissions policy is to look after the IOC and to protect
the organisers. The No.1 priority is to make as much profit as they can and
it is often at the expense of the press - because they are a captive
audience.
But the secretary-general said this philosophy was not just confined to the
IOC, but also applied to most organisations staging major sports events
where the media were charged more than the general public for often the
same accommodation. Invariably, it is cheaper to get accommodation on the
internet than to go through the organisers. The prices are always hiked for
the press.
The secretary-general said he had chosen to focus on this subject in his
report to the Congress. "I believe the AIPS has to be more active. It is
not good enough just to be on a commission. I have learned from years
experience, not only with the IOC press commission, but many other
commissions, our places are just a form of tokenism. Ultimately, our input
is seldom taken into consideration, certainly on policy matters such as
accommodation costs or the location of media accommodation. We are not even
consulted, we are given an ultimatum and have to pay exorbitant prices for
more often than not badly-located sub-standard accommodation. We are being
exploited and we have to let them know we have suffered for long enough and
it is about time they had another look at their policies before we are
priced out of covering their events."
Support came from other delegates including a suggesting that AIPS and UEPS
should set up their own logistic departments.
UEPS Committee member Yannis Daras from Greece told the Congress he and his
colleagues would explore the internet for special accommodation offers. "We
will look for normal-priced accommodation outside the official system."
Returning to his report, President Nilsson said UEPS needed to examine the
number of Committee members in view of the fact that we had only 11 instead
of 12. He wondered whether we should return to the old figure of eight
which would make it easier to find sponsors for hosting Board meetings. He
acknowledged there were varying opinions on this question.
Following a debate, it was decided to propose the election of a 12th member
at the 2004 UEPS Congress.

SECRETARY-GENERAL'S REPORT


Secretary-general Myers presented his report (previously circulated),
saying the topic about media accommodation had already been discussed by
the Congress.
His report was approved without further comment.

TREASURER'S REPORT - financial year 2002
Erw Barthel presented the Treasurers Report as circulated, but added a
special tribute to former vice-president Kuki Bergant for his tremendous
contribution to the UEPS 25-year Jubilee book.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

There was a long discussion about the impact of internet journalists
regarding accreditation to sports events. President Nilsson said this new
modern way of communication was open to almost anybody and anyone could
call themselves internet journalists. For a long time, AIPS has been
watching the situation waiting for some reaction from the big international
sports organisations.
Now the IOC had made a decision, agreeing that 500 internet journalists
could be accredited for the Athens Olympics. This was at the cost of the
written press, whose allocation would be cut by about 10 percent.
National journalist associations and sports federations had their own
criteria, but this issue needed to be addressed by the AIPS and UEPS.
The Congress started at 0900 and finished at 1100.

MORLEY MYERS - SECRETARY GENERAL