PRESS RELEASE: Journalist Associations Back Ubitennis Over Controversial Removal Of Credentials In Rome - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

PRESS RELEASE: Journalist Associations Back Ubitennis Over Controversial Removal Of Credentials In Rome

I am writing from Paris where I am covering the French Open and I would like to give you some update about the episode I have been involved in during the last Italian Open.

Avatar

Published

on

Roma 2019 (foto via Twitter, @InteBNLdItalia)

The French Open is in full swing and the singles draws have reached the Round of 16 stage, but I wanted to take a few minutes to update you on the developments of the ‘incident’ started with the withdrawal of my credentials in Rome.

 

It has taken some time to put together this conjoint press release because, even if a very reputable publications like “Articolo 21” (usually aligned with the position of the Federal Association of the Italian Press FNSI) strongly criticized the episode, it is never easy to coordinate so many associations, presidents, vice-presidents, etc…, and it is important that every party involved expresses the same concepts in the same way.

PRESS RELEASE

All journalists associations in Italy find outrageous the decision by the organizing committee of the Italian Open of tennis to withdraw press credentials to our colleague Ubaldo Scanagatta, long-time sports writer and an internationally-renowned tennis expert.

The Federal Association of the Italian Press (FNSI), the Italian Union of Sports Press (USSI) and the Press Association of Tuscany (AST) together with the Group of Sports Journalists of Tuscany and the Council of the Professional Association of Journalists consider unacceptable this harassing attitude, especially for the reasons that allegedly justified this measure: Scanagatta should have provided journalistic coverage of the event exclusively for the media outlet that requested accreditation for him. This reason is unacceptable, especially considering how in this day and age there is a multitude of freelance journalists who need to work for several different media outlets just to earn enough to support themselves. This need is universally recognized: in the “Media Accreditation Policy” for the French Open of tennis, for example, it is explicitly stated that credentials are issued to each journalist to cover the event “whether on her/his own account, on behalf of an employer, or on behalf of any company [i.e. “any companies” as more explicitly stated in the French language version of the document: “pour le compte d’un employeur, ou le compte de toute(s) société(s)”] whom the journalist, photographer or technician is working with in relation to her/his activity, in whatever form, in respect of the Tournament”.

All press associations are invoking the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) as well as all sports federations and recommend that episodes like this one do not happen again, in any venue, in any stadium. It is worth reminding how credentials are not a privilege granted to journalists but a mere instrument needed by them to perform their role, which is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Italian Constitution that protects freedom of expression, underlining how “press shall not be subject to censorship or authorizations” and stressing that free press includes also the right of access to information without limitations.

I believe it is important this press release has eventually been issued. As you can read, the positions of all organizations involved are very firm, concerning both what happened in the past and what should happen in the future.

Since I am a… hot-blooded Tuscan old man who is never satisfied, I would have loved to see a mention of the absurd and unacceptable episode of the security agents instructed to escort me during the whole day on Saturday, while I was in the press room and I was being followed even while going to the bathroom. And even more absurdly, on the following day – on Sunday, during the Nadal-Djokovic final – when, entering the “grounds” of the tournament with an ordinary ticket having my credentials been withdrawn, I was being followed all over the venue by other security agents, as if I was some kind of criminal. I think it’s out of this world, and it could be worth a legal action… so that the people who ordered and executed the absurd (I would like to use much more colorful words, but you ought to be careful with that kind of people) removal of my credentials.

However, taking legal action on a principle, like in this case, is usually a big sort of stress, and significant expenses, for the plaintiff, while a defendant like FIT (the Italian Tennis Federation) remains relatively unscathed even if found guilty, since they can rely on large financial resources. It has happened already, on several occasion, I know this first hand.

I don’t know whether this is the end of the road or there will be further developments. At the very least it should be reminded to the person who signed that pitiful letter used as a pretext for the actions against me that journalistic ethics should prevent a journalist from doing something like that to a colleague, not even if he were ordered by the President himself.

I would also like to explain our readers how the time elapsed between the events in question and the issue of a conjoint press release by the various press associations was legally required to wait for a formal reply by FIT, that had been contacted by USSI. However the FIT did not deign to respond.

That didn’t surprise me. Probably they didn’t know what to say… without consulting with a lawyer first, a lawyer they may eventually need after all.

This press release will be forwarded to various organizations in tennis: ATP, WTA, ITF, and the International Tennis Writers Association. I can tell you that everyone has expressed their support here in Paris: other Italian journalists, international reporters, even some players.

I want to thank from the bottom of my heart those 1,000 or so readers and friends (some closer than others) who wrote to me at direttaubitennis@gmail.com, on Facebook and Twitter, and to my personal email address. I felt them close to me, I was sincerely pleased, especially because many people who hardly ever post comments on the site, some who didn’t even know how to post a comment, took time to show their solidarity. My passion and dedication to this profession is fostered also by your support, which I truly appreciate, even if you do not share or approve my positions on many other topics. This pushes me to continue along the path I have decided to take.Open Sus

Links to articles (in Italian)

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Latest news

‘My Body Is Not Use To Playing At 2am’ – Kristyna Pliskova Stuns Sakkari In Late-Night Palermo Duel

The Czech player has caused the biggest upset of the draw so far.

Avatar

Published

on

Kristyna Pliskova has started her return to professional tennis following the five-month break by recording one of the biggest wins over her career at the Palermo Open.

 

The Czech tennis player held her nerve to knockout world No.20 and third seed Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4, in a late-night encounter. The first day of the WTA event saw a series of matches go the full distance, leading to Pliskova’s opening match taking place in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Despite the later than expected encounter, a sleepy Pliskova still managed to come out on top to record only her seventh win over a top 20 player and second this year. She also beat Aryna Sabalenka at the Shenzhen Open in January. During her latest match, the Czech stood firmly behind her serve as she won 80% of her first service points and saved all three break points she faced. Overall, she won 69 points in the match compared to Sakarri’s 60.

“The conditions were really tough,” wtatennis.com quoted Pliskova as saying. “Before the match, I was also sleeping a little bit! We stayed so late here, I think it’s tough for [Sakkari] as well.”
“The body is not used to playing at 2:00 a.m.,”
she added.

Pliskova broke Sakkari twice in the match by doing so at the start of each set. The triumph avenges her loss to the Greek in their previous meeting that took place at the 2017 Wimbledon championships. On that occasion Sakkari fought back from a set down to win.

Former Wimbledon girls champion Pliskova is seeking her first WTA title in almost four years this week in Palermo. Her next opponent will be Italian veteran Sara Errani, who required almost three hours to oust Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, in a roller-coaster encounter.

“[Errani is] at home here, so for sure the people will cheer for her,” Pliskova commented on her next test. “She had quite a tough match, I saw. It’s very different from today, but I will try to hold my serve and hopefully I will also break her!”

Pliskova is currently ranked 69th in the WTA rankings.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Fabio Fognini is planning to return in Kitzbuhel

Avatar

Published

on

Fabio Fognini is currently training in Puglia to prepare his return to the ATP Tour in Kitzbuhel next September after undergoing ankle surgery two months ago. His coach Corrado Barazzutti confirmed that Fognini will not play in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament and at the US Open. 

 

Fabio knows what he has to do to recover from the injury and is working very hard. He trains every day from 10 to 14.30. I am happy with his committment and his hard work”, said Barazzutti, who is also the Italian Davis Cup captain. 

“I think that Fabio will be ready in two weeks. We will work for four weeks in Rome to prepare for Kitzbuhel, which will mark his come-back. If everything goes to plan, Fabio will play there. We are confident because his preparation is going well well”. 

Fognini is spending his time with his wife Flavia Pennetta and his children Federico and Farah. “I think that spending with his family will be very positive for Fabio. They give him the strength to overcome the recovery from injury. Living with injuries is normal for all athletes, but it is not very easy. He is now more relaxed”, concluded Barazzutti

Continue Reading

Focus

REPORT: Madrid Open To Be Axed Amid COVID-19 Concerns In Latest Setback For Tennis

Hopes of Spain holding their top tennis event in 2020 are over.

Avatar

Published

on

The world of tennis is set to suffer another severe blow with multiple media sources confirming that organisers of Spain’s most prestigious tennis tournament will officially cancel their event on Tuesday. 

 

The Mutua Madrid Open will be removed from the 2020 calendar following a meeting involving tournament owner Iron Tiriac. Recently doubts have been cast on the event after local health officials called for it to be suspended due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Although the final decision was up to Tiriac and his team. It had been due to take place between September 12 to 20, following the conclusion of the US Open. 

“We have to be realistic now, we have to accept that health is always the priority. We must not endanger anyone, neither the fans, nor the players, nor the staff, all those who come to Madrid in September,” tournament director Feliciano Lopez told L’Equipe over the weekend. 

Spain has seen their rate of COVID-19 cases rapidly rise since the country ended its lockdown. According to El Pais, the number of cases recorded within 24 hours is eight times the amount compared to 40 days ago. Rising from 334 (June 20) to 2,789 (between July 29 and 30). On Friday July 31st there were 3092 new cases in the country in what is a post-lockdown record.

Held at the Caja Magica, the Madrid Open is a key event for both men and women. It is currently classed as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a Premier Mandatory for the women. Last year each of the singles champions took home €1,202,520 in prize money. It was originally set to be played in May but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The demise of Madrid this year is another setback for what is becoming a rapidly thinning 2020 tennis calendar. Within the past two weeks China has confirmed that they will not be hosting any tournaments this year, Japan’s scrapped it’s premier women’s event and the Italian Open has been advised to not allow any fans to their event this year. 

As a result of the latest development, only two WTA clay-court events will take place after the US Open leading up to Roland Garros. They are both set to get underway on September 21st in Rome and Strasbourg. As for the men, Rome will be their only point of call. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending