Football governing body CAF faces public scrutiny following a fresh attempt to control the news regarding African football affairs.
According to available information, journalist Nazim Bessol, working for Algerian newspaper Botola, has seen his accreditation for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) revoked over his continued stance on association’s illegal dealing and blatant corruption.
This website has learned that Mr. Bessol had initially received a confirmation approval letter with accreditation number 1206.
However, on Thursday, June 21, he received an email from CAF explaining, without justification, that his accreditation had been revoked and his status on the media channel had been altered from “approved” to “rejected”.
Several commentators including AIPS Africa, link his terminations to the investigation conducted by the journalist and the newspaper about the company Tactical Steel, mysteriously introduced as main CAF supplier, which led to CAF president Ahmad Ahmad being arrested and grilled by French police over corruption allegations.
In a statement released on Friday morning, AIPS Africa has condemned CAF decision to revoke Mr. Bessol’s accreditation saying “it as another attempt to stop the freedom of the media, a direct and blatant response to the investigations.”
“I am already in direct contact with AIPS President Gianni Merlo for a global appraisal on what it is another assault on the independence of thought of the sports media”, said Mitchell Obi, AIPS Africa President.
He added: “From the continental prism of AIPS Africa we are totally saddened by the resource of the CAF and the brutish show of disrespect to the sports media in Africa.”
Several other analysts have taken a swipe at CAF, saying the brutal action comes from a team that promised change after winning the last CAF election.
They say that its first despicable act was to scrap the CAF Media committee in a bizarre logic of reorganization, which partly includes annulling the accreditation of a sports journalist two days before the event.
AIPS Africa has since vowed to push for an immediate reversal of what they have also termed as ‘unwholesome’ act.
“We won’t hesitate to go the distance in checking this brazen attempt to hide under the cloak of a collective fold and pursue dark and personal agendas”, said Mr. Obi.