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Portuguese Association celebrates 40th birthday with style
1. Sílvia Saiote, trampoline champion, receives her award from Jorge Ribeiro (Photo CNID)

CNID trophies presented to distinguished journalists and athletes  

The Portuguese Association’s annual gala and announcement of the 2005 Athletes of the Year recipients was made even more auspicious this year with the celebration of the association’s 40th anniversary and the presentation by the Executive of a number of “Excellence in Journalism” awards to those deserving of the “Cock”, the symbol of the CNID.

Portugal’s stars of sport gathered at Lisbon’s new Casino for the event which attracted the interest of a private television station which televised the glittering sports media gala live.

The first trophy of the ceremony was presented to champion gymnast and trampoline champion Sílvia Saiote by Jorge Ribeiro on behalf of the AIPS Executive Committee. Ribeiro, Treasurer of AIPS remarked that 40 years ago, it was AIPS that promoted and assisted Portuguese journalists to create their own association, which in fact was the only way to be accredited for the 1966 World Championships in England. It was the former AIPS President Félix Lévitain, who at the Helsinki Congress gave his assistance to Fernando Soromenho to establish the Portuguese association, which received the political authorization of the Dictature under the name of “Club”. Ribeiro praised Ramon Melcon, Vice President, Cottar (Netherlands), Bocalli (Italy), Samim (Turkey), Higar (Mexico), Martin and Jose Maria Lorente (Spain) who all worked for the international recognition of Portugal.

Award recipients included footballer Deco (champion, Euroleague), Artur Jorge (best career as an international coach), and José Mourinho, who arrived from London for a short time and had to return to Chelsea without receiving his “Best Coach” trophy. Italian club Lazio’s Fernando Couto presented Best Player of the Year award to FC Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma who was overlooked by national coach Luiz Felipe “Big Phil” Scolari for the National Team to Germany 2006.  Olympic marathon champion Rosa Mota presented the Sportswoman of the Year award to basketballer Ticha Penicheiro, a member of the US Champion team the Sacramento Monarchs and one of the biggest stars of the WNBA.

International Symposium

Before the Gala, CNID organized a symposium to debate important matters pertinent to journalists: The “Black-out” and “Challenges for the XXI Century”. Opening the initiative, the Minister for Sport, Laurentino Dias defended the access to information as a “non-negotiable right” a theme that must remain a permanent discussion topic. Dias announced that Portugal will introduce a new Law for Sport in the near future.

 1505FF5 copia_1.jpg

Portuguese Minister of Sport (center) between Markus Siegler (FIFA) and António Florêncio ( CNID president). Florêncio does not agree with the “silenzio stampa”, the news black-out for journalists. (Photo CNID)

Markus Siegler, FIFA press officer who attended the AIPS Congress in Doha, told the symposium that journalists have the right to refuse the black-out, a complex problem not recognised by FIFA. “This is a phenomenon of certain domestic championships” said Siegler, who believes that every press officer must give information with discipline and accuracy. “Black-out is a nonsense”.

Rob Hughes, came from Italy where he reported on a large investigation by the Herald Tribune into the scandal inside Italian football. Hughes said that all the discussions centred on the black-out issue are reminders of “the ways in which politicians use the power of sport”. Is this why Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich are not competitive teams? asked Hughes. His answer:  “Because politics have taken over the power. When the bosses love the game aside from all the money they have to spend – like old Agnelli in Italy – we may have a winner. On Chelsea:”The Russian loves football, and Mourinho explores it very well”, commented Rob Hughes.

Henk Evenblij, from De Telegraaf of Amsterdam, gave his experience of a foreign coach working in Portugal where the black-out is set down on the players’ contracts. The example is Co Adriansen, who works under a black-out for the last six months until winning the Portuguese championship.

“To improve education, training and instruction, putting higher levels and expectations of culture on all participants of sport, are what is needed to face the future challenges” – concluded the symposium. 

Jorge Ribeiro

AIPS Bureau

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