By Rik Lamoral, Secretary General, UEPS
MILAN, May 4, 2009 - AIPS' European continental section UEPS has responded to a plea from the editor-in-chief of Montengro's largest national newspaper Dan to intervene in a long-term dispute with President of the Montenegrin Football Associatio, Dejan SAVICEVIC which has prevented Dan's journalists and photographers from covering football since Montenegrin independence in 2006.
Meeting at the AIPS Congress in Milan, UEPS which counts 48 European national sports journalists' associations among its members, formulated an official communique to SAVICEVIC which was also sent to FIFA, UEFA, the IOC and AIPS.
The letter is reproduced below:
To Fudbalski Savez Crne Gore
The National Football Association of MONTENEGRO
President Dejan SAVICEVIC
Ulica 19 Decembar 13 - Postanski Fah 275
Cc: FIFA, UEFA, IOC, EU (European Union) and AIPS
Milan, May 3, 2009
Subject: Situation newspaper "DAN"
During our Continental Meeting at the World Congress of AIPS (World body of Sportsjournalists Associations), UEPS learned about the ongoing problems of our Montenegrin colleagues from your biggest national newspaper “Dan” with you.
President Jerzy Jakobsche and all members are astonished to hear how you limit our Montenegrin colleagues of Dan to perform their normal journalistic duties.
The General Assemble of UEPS (The European Sportspress Association with 48 members countries), decided to make this statement.
“The UEPS unanimously protest against the treatment of the newspaper Dan, whose journalists are denied accreditation and access to the activities of your national footballteam.
This is an unbelievable and unacceptable attitude and way of acting in the year 2009 AD, especially in a young country with ambitions of democracy and membership on European level.
The UEPS strongly support the idea of free press. Consequently we are stunned to realise that the Montenegrin Football Association does not embrace the same fundamental democratic values, which are longtime acquired and just mainstream in the democratic countries of Europe.
We strongly insist that you would open accreditation, equal working facilities and social treatment for all official media on all your organizations. This is a basic requirement to be acceptable on European level. We remind you that all affiliated sports bodies which want to be part of the international sportsworld, are obliged to respect all conventions and rules which govern the relations with media.”
Looking forward for your prompt action,
Rik LAMORAL Secretary General , UEPS