Ghanaian Media in Abidjan didn’t go in to attack anyone.
We walked down from the Media Tribune at the upper terrace of the stadium to the ground floor to carry out our jobs of interviewing players after the game. This was despite the embarrassing results, with some media guys in tears but still carrying their cameras and tools.
We stood for over half an hour and realized the players were not coming to our zone as mandated, but sneaking into their bus which was strategically parked at the entrance of the dressing room.
This has become a usual occurrence in recent times with the team shying away from media engagements especially after poor showing.
The CAF Security, obviously upon instructions, started to erect barricades around is us in order to create a passage for the team bus to drive away, without meeting us.
The same team we had come to interview, looking on as we get surrounded by security so they can escape interviews.
This certainly wasn’t going to go down well and this is where we insisted, we will not move away from where we have been assigned to stand and conduct our work unless the players, per competition practice, walk down to the mixed zone, address our questions and walk to the bus.
That channel was the only exit for the bus to leave the stadium and we stood in their way.
This is where the security called for reinforcements and brought more metallic barricades to get us contained.
We refused to allow the bus because we had no ill-intent except carry out our jobs.
After close to an hour, the police noticed we were not going to succumb so the players had to come down and walk through the mixed zone.
At this point, some journalists were visibly incensed and decided not to ask any questions since the players had earlier resolved not to come. Others booed the team as seen in the videos.
Obviously, emotions were high. There were use of some unpleasant words by some, which was condemned there and called for decorum. Emotions because these guys first and foremost love the Black Stars as fans.
But nobody was ready to harm anyone. Nobody vandalized any bus. The pictures of vandalized buses in circulation were done by Ivorian fans after their defeat to Eq Guinea.
If we did not have the right to do what we did, I’m sure the security would’ve done their jobs.
Thanks to the Ivorian Police and CAF Security and other officials for their professionalism in resolving the situation.
This is the first time as far as I can remember, despite the series of disgraceful showings at tournaments, that the media have demanded the players show respect for the job we do.
That was not too much to ask.