Fifa World Cup media rules challenged

2010-01-29 12:35

Three of South Africa’s media houses have sent a submission to Fifa

saying the conditions it is imposing on journalists during the 2010 World Cup

are unconstitutional, The Times reported on Friday.

Avusa Media Limited, Independent Newspapers and Media 24 have said

restrictions outlined by Fifa “unjustifiably restrict the media’s ability to

report critically on the Fifa World Cup and any related or ancillary

topics”.

The submission states that Fifa “holds a monopoly over all matters

pertaining to the 2010 Fifa World Cup”.

Because of the monopoly, the media has no choice but to agree to

the terms and conditions.

Fifa’s terms and conditions include a clause that news

organisations cannot harm the reputation of the World Cup.

The newspaper groups submit that under South African law, “a prior

restraint on publication” is in itself unlawful or justifiably on the basis that

it is true and in the public interest, protected by fair comment, or is

reasonable”.

They also believe the accreditation terms are “procedurally unfair,

unlawful and unconstitutional”.

Local organising committee spokesperson Rich Mkhondo said they had

received the submission and were looking at it.


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