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 signature ceremony was held at the secretariat of the LOC, at Eko Football House, Onikan in Lagos, yesterday afternoon, with the LOC Chairman, Seyi Akinwunmi, and the SWAN President, Honour Sirawoo, signing on behalf of both bodies.

While speaking at the occasion, Akinwunmi who also doubles as NFF’s First Vice President 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.

“The agreement entails the guarantee by the LOC of adequate and functional facilities for media and publicity operations while SWAN is to ensure maximum publicity with accurate and real-time reporting of the event to both local and international audience.

“The agreement states that SWAN shall provide adequate and coordinated media coverage of the 2016 AFCON Beach Soccer Tournament, ensure adequate publicity before during and after the tournament, utilise the media to mobilise the public and handle the conduct of pre- and post-match interviews.

“On its part, the LOC shall ensure the provision of access to the on-site media centre for accredited journalists, provide a workroom with desktops, laptops, printers, photocopiers, wireless fidelity (wifi), conference room and mixed zone for interviews, equipment support and other facilities to enhance the work of journalists,’’ Akinwunmi said.

The tournament chief also added that the LOC wants the event to be world-class.
“One of the ways to achieve this is through the media, as well as how the event is packaged and communicated to the public. I and my colleagues in the LOC are happy to interface with SWAN in this regard because it is high time we started interfacing properly.

“We must grow our sports and interface in a different way from the past, to ensure accountability, responsibility and mutual respect,” Akinwunmi explained.

“Members of our committee have expressed total support and commitment to the MoU. What we have signed may just be paper but the spirit of the understanding is what is important.
“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.