Agencies warn of India-England coverage halt
Agencies warn of India-England coverage halt
The News Media Coalition, which represents a group of media organizations, “deplored” a decision by the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) to bar photo agencies such as Getty Images and Action Images and urged it to rethink.
Any suspension would deprive millions of cricket fans of coverage of one of the most-eagerly anticipated series of the year, which starts on Thursday.
“In our view, the BCCI’s move will hit fans and cricket sponsors alike,” said Andrew Moger, the executive director of the London-based coalition.
“The BCCI has offered to make its own photographs available but this is no substitute for independent and objective press photography.” While accreditation has only been withheld from photo agencies, other news organizations fear the move sets a dangerous precedent.
“Despite numerous opportunities, the BCCI has yet to explain why it is discriminating against photographic agencies or indeed whether other news sectors will be targeted,” said Moger, whose organization campaigns against reporting restrictions.
“We deplore this move and insult to organizations which have supported cricket worldwide.” In a statement, Agence France-Presse said the agency would not provide text and photo coverage of the four-Test series unless the matter could be resolved ahead of the series.
The agency said it “strongly believes the right of the media to cover news events without undue restrictions should be protected,” adding it hoped “the BCCI will lift its policy so news media and fans can continue to get independent coverage.”
Reuters and the Associated Press also said they may be forced to suspend coverage.
BCCI media manager Devendra Prabhudesai said the board was not seeking to bar news agencies.
“The BCCI has a policy not to accredit photo syndication services like Getty Images and other similar foreign and domestic agencies,” he said.
“We have no such problems with AFP, AP or Reuters since their text and photo service is for editorial use only. We have already explained our stand to the News Media Coalition.” The accreditation dispute is the latest between the BCCI and media organizations in the build-up to the series.
Satellite broadcaster Sky, which holds the British rights to the series, is set to commentate from its London headquarters off a live picture feed rather than pay a reported additional 500,000 pounds ($795,000) to the BCCI.
The BBC however has reached an agreement with the BCCI to broadcast live from the venues after the Indian board reportedly demanded an extra 50,000 pounds in addition to the already-agreed fee for the rights to cover broadcast costs.
‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay
- A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half gave Uruguay a 1-0 win
- Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance
ROSTOV-ON-DON: Good, but not good enough.
That was what Juan Antonio Pizzi stated as he declared himself pleased with his team’s performance in the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Wednesday night.
But he lamented his side’s lack of firepower as they exited the World Cup after just two matches.
Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance in Rostov-on-Don after losing their opening game 5-0 to hosts Russia in Moscow last week.
The Argentine got his wish with a display that saw the Green Falcons fight throughout and edge possession against a Uruguay side ranked 14th in the world.
A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half after poor goalkeeping from Mohammed Al-Owais, however, was enough to hand the Green Falcons a 12th successive World Cup defeat.
The result means that even with a win against Egypt on Monday, the Green Falcons are no longer capable of progressing to the knock-out stages from Group A.
“We had a lot of ball possession and were able to impose our style of play and distribution,” said Pizzi. “We conceded a goal from a random play and didn’t have the weapons or tools to try to equalize. We kept the ball well and weren’t really troubled defensively, but lacked that ability to score.”
Indeed, for all their possession, Saudi Arabia have managed just three shots on target in 180 minutes of football. Against Russia, they failed to muster a single effort on target and the managed just three against Uruguay, two of which came in the final minutes when they knew they had to score or face elimination. None of the three shots came from a striker.
“This is our weakness. We have good ball possession, but no effectiveness. We lack the depth and skill required to win these games,” Pizzi added. “We have that deficiency and have looked for solutions, but we haven’t quite come up with one yet. But that is one of the reasons great forward are in high demand and are the elite players in world football.”
Pizzi had made four changes ahead of the match, dropping goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf in favor of Al-Owais and introducing Ali Al-Bulayhi at the heart of the defense alongside Osama Hawsawi. Further upfield, Hattan Bahberi came in for Yahya Al-Shehri and Fahad Al-Muwallad replaced Mohammed Al-Sahlawi. The changes, particularly the inclusion of Bahberi, seemed to give the side more impetus in midfield.
“The difference between the performance in the first game and this game is enormous,” Pizzi said. “The only way to compete at this level is to play at the level we did here. And even then it was not enough even to get a draw. Undoubtedly there were other factors aside from the pressure of playing in the opening game that made a difference, but it’s true that the difference was enormous.”
Many critics had predicted a deluge of goals from the likes of Suarez and Cavani, yet both were kept at bay. Save for a couple of half-chances early on, neither came close to scoring until the 23rd minute.
A corner from Carlos Sanchez sailed into the area and when Al-Owais came for it but failed to connect with his punch, Barcelona forward Suaréz was left with the simplest of tap-ins. He was so caught off-guard, he actually looked surprised as he reeled away in celebration.
“I believe you cannot be relaxed in any match,” Suarez said when asked by a Uruguayan journalist whether he had taken it easy against the Saudis.
“We wanted to win and to progress to the knock-out stage and this game simply showed how difficult it is. That’s the World Cup for you though and we are obviously delighted with how we have performed so far to progress.”
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not share his striker’s sentiments.
“Saudi Arabia wanted to excel and give a better account of themselves after losing to Russia,” he said.
“They did that very well and we have to respect them. But what surprised me the most is how we played. We underperformed.”