Today, FIFA and the Russia-2018 Organizing Committee confirmed the site’s accreditation for the 2018 World Cup matches in an official letter.
To be honest, I didn’t really expect that the portal would be given the right to attend the matches of the World Cup. Moreover, the application for accreditation was submitted at a time when the news agency “Sports Information Center” was not even a year old as an official media outlet. But at least it was worth trying.
I remember the groaning on social media of people calling themselves “great sports journalists” who were denied accreditation. I will not give their names for ethical reasons. Here’s what’s interesting: I did not see these people at a seminar in the government of the Samara region with representatives of FIFA, who gave detailed instructions on how to go through all the stages of accreditation. It is possible that someone did something wrong. And someone, on the contrary, sat and waited from the sea for the weather. For 25 years of work in the media, I have seen enough of those who always expect that accreditation or an invitation will be brought to them on a silver platter. And then such a bummer …
Some even showered with curses, they say, “we are read by half a region.” But they didn’t even think of making themselves a media license from Roskomnadzor, and this is the first and one of the main rules for FIFA. However, let’s not talk about sad things.
I myself had to understand the intricate instructions, since in order to get to the stadium, I had to go through several stages. One of them is filing an application on editorial letterhead to gain access to the FIFA Media Channel. You can’t do without it. Next, it was necessary to send a request for quotas to FIFA. That is, how many editorial staff – writing and photographing – are going to attend the matches and in which cities. Naturally, as the head of the publication, I was interested in that quotas were provided, well, at least for two photographers and two writing journalists. But as a result, only one quota was approved, to which one control number and one control key came. That is, for one person. But I think that this is already a great achievement for the media, which at that time was not even a year old, and even more so for the media far from the federal level. I think that if FIFA approved accreditation and requested quotas for everyone in a row, then there would be only journalists at the stadium …
There were, of course, some technical issues that made me nervous. For example, the key for obtaining accreditation came to me even before the access to the Media channel was given. And without access, these keys simply became useless. I had to conduct an active correspondence, both in Russian and in English. And even though I was a little late with the application for accreditation, it was nevertheless successfully approved. An indirect confirmation of this appeared recently on the Media channel.
At the same time, I was given access to book tickets for the media for matches. And today the official confirmation has already been received from FIFA.
The attached document politely stated that if someone was accredited for a match and could not attend, then he must necessarily cancel the accreditation. Otherwise, if a similar situation repeats, the penalty box will simply be denied access to all matches.
And now I just have to wait for the opening of the accreditation center and get the corresponding document.
I’m not an ardent football fan, but it would be a sin to miss an event of this magnitude all the more for a sports site. Surely many will say: you think it’s unprecedented to get accreditation …
But one thing confuses me: to which of my colleagues I asked the question of whether their media was accredited for the 2018 World Cup, at best they answered me with something incomprehensible. However, who else got access to the first match in Samara will most likely become known only when I myself find myself at the Samara Arena stadium.
Perhaps (I really hope so) FIFA will give me access to some of the stadiums in other cities, which I noted in the application. But even if it doesn’t, I won’t be very upset.