Ashis Sinha I Ranchi: A ban on visiting foreign journalists interviewing spectators and conducting interviews during the Tokyo Olympic 2020 is unfair and overreach; the anti-COVID-19 laws and restrictions by Tokyo Olympic organizers are against press liberties, said Gianni Merlo, President, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), the apex body of World Sports Media.
Merlo was virtually addressing a webinar organized in India on the occasion of the World Sports Journalist Day which was jointly hosted by ITK Leipzig University Germany’s Indian Alumni Association, the Global Active Partner City, Bokaro and the Mongia Steel Ltd.
Especially the entire sports press media fraternity of India enroute Jharkhand was graced on the day by the first-ever appearance of Gianni Merlo, who virtually joined from Italy, while Elvira Ramini, the Secretary-General of International Pierre De Coubertin Committee (CIPC) join the event from Switzerland.
Speaking on the occasion Merlo said, the restrictions and anti-COVID-19 laws are clear overreach and targeted to the foreign journalists only as Japanese media and journalists will not face the same restrictions, regardless of their vaccination status.
The organisers publish COVID-19 rule book specifies that for its first 14 days in Japan, international journalists will be unable to interview or interview spectators in Tokyo. It also requires you to turn on the local information services on your airport devices and to use the data for the organisers.
All the restrictions are of the so-called coronavirus package, but are that, actually? “We, the press, are not the enemy of Japan,” added Merlo.
Ahead of a highly restricted Olympics in Tokyo, the AIPS president urged authority for a joint solution to mitigate and cancel the restrictions before it is too late. “It’s a special occasion, but we are not in war,” added Merlo.
He also highlighted journalists’ most tough issues after a pandemic, mental health and limited access to information.
Elvira Ramini, the Secretary General of CIPC addressed the webinar with a lively message encouraging all to apply modern reading of Coubertin and emphasized the importance of sports in human life during this pandemic. She also expressed her views and briefed about a book titled— “Reinventing Sport and Olympic Games after COVID-19: Return of Pierre de Coubertin.”
“We must adore the strength as well as the responsibilities of Sports Journalists everywhere & at all levels. It’s also an extremely prospective subject for youth. The people have to understand the depth of this field,” she said.
Besides others, Gunwant Singh Mongia, Chairman M/s Mongia Steel Ltd., S Sabanayakan Vice President, International Sports Press Association (AIPS-ASIA), Prashant Keni Assistant Editor Sports, Loksatta, Mumbai, Ajay Kukreti Sports Journalist, Ashis Kumar Sinha Journalist, Jaideep Sarkar the Executive Body Member of IPCA and Global Active City Officer, Dr. Uma Kant Singh, Sports Ambassador ITK Leipzig University, Germany in India, who pivoted the notable event and instrumental for the great show in India also opined on the occasion.
World Sports Journalists Day is observed every year on 2 July to mark the hardship and endeavour of the sports journalists across the globe for keeping us updated with sports news and encourage them to strive for excellence in their professional work.
On this day, the International Sports Press Association was established at the 1924 Paris Olympics with an aim of uniting sports journalists across the globe.