Egypt’s Sports Critics Association (ESCA) held an urgent meeting on Monday to discuss what they called "an intentional intransigence toward Egyptian sports journalists" at the CAF awards ceremony held in Cairo this month.
“What happened to Egyptian sports journalists at the CAF awards ceremony is not acceptable because it was intentional,” ESCA president Ayman Abu Ayed told Ahram Online.
He said Egyptian journalists received offensive treatment from the organizers of the CAF awards ceremony, being forced to stay in a closed room for hours during the event.
“How can you invite a journalist to cover an event then prevent him to do his job? This is the first time such thing happens to Egyptian journalists,” Abu Ayed affirmed.
ESCA demanded Confederation of African football to apologize for all what happened and to investigate the case.
“We want to keep the good relations with the CAF and we are happy that the head office is in Cairo but we can’t accept less than an apology and a reasonable punishment for CAF marketing director Amr Shaheen for what he did and said,” Abu Ayed confirmed.
According to Abu Ayed, CAF marketing director Amr Shaheen was in charge of the aggressive treatment towards the journalists at the event. He also offended Egyptian sports reporters in a TV sports programme later.
The Critics Association has also communicated to the International Sports Journalists' Association and the FIFA media committee to investigate the incident. Additionally, Hatem Zakaria, secretary-general of the Egyptian Journalists Association announced that they will support sports critics’ situation .
“Egyptian sport journalism is the most effective in the continent and what happened is an offence toward Egyptian journalism en bloc,” Ayman Abu Ayed concluded.