The Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Second CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the competition’s media operations and publicity.
The signing ceremony was held at the secretariat of the LOC, at Eko Football House, Onikan in Lagos, on Thursday afternoon, with the LOC Chairman, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, and the SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, signing on behalf of both bodies.
Speaking at the occasion, Akinwunmi said the MoU was conceived towards achieving the stated objective of delivering the competition scheduled to open on December 13 at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos and making it the best ever held.
He noted that the interface through the agreement was a landmark event in institutional relations for the good of the game.
“On its part, the LOC shall ensure the provision of access to the on-site media centre for accredited journalists and also provide a well equipped workroom and other facilities to enhance the work of journalists,” Akinwunmi said.
The LOC Chairman, who is also the First Vice-President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), added that the LOC wanted the event to be world-class.
Speaking Further Akinwunmi said: “Over time, this will strengthen institutional relations. We will provide all that is needed by the media to perform. It is a Nigerian project and we expect the media to deliver to project Nigeria as serious and capable.”
In his remarks, the SWAN President noted that the objectives of the association emphasise commitment to not just publicity but also the promotion of sports.
He pointed out that in Great Britain as well as in other top sporting nations, the body of sports journalists work with the organisers of sporting events, sometimes as consultants, to ensure success, saying this is the new direction of SWAN.
“Our objective is to promote our sports and we have started by opening a new vista in creating relationships to drive sports. We have journalists who are very knowledgeable and experienced in sports administration and management, following long years of practice and coverage of various events.”
Sirawoo also asked the LOC to consider the possibility of organising a clinic on beach soccer for journalists in order to enhance the quality of media output on the event.
Head of the Media Sub-committee of the LOC, Nansel Nimyel who expressed his delight at the interaction, also emphasised that the global perception of the event rests on how SWAN discharges the mandate.
Also speaking at the ceremony, LOC’s Director of Organisation, Samson Adamu, assured that the 2016 CAF Beach Soccer AFCON would be a huge carnival for the festive period of December.
“We plan to make it the best tournament CAF has ever had. We are creating a Fanzone for spectators to have fun before the games. We are playing under floodlight, with games in the evening to create a different kind of experience and give workers the opportunity to join the games after they close from work.” he said.
Adamu noted that it was only the media that could put the light on all done by the organisers, saying it rests on the shoulders of the media to mobilise the public to join the fun.
“We can build the best stadiums and put all sorts of things in place but without the full support of the media pushing information to the people we cannot achieve our objective. We cannot do this on our own.”