Blatter slams coverage of AFCON violence

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hit out at media coverage of  the crowd violence that marred Ghana's 3-0  African Cup of Nations semi-final win over hosts Equatorial Guinea.

Play in Malabo had to be halted for over 30 minutes after supporters threw missiles at players and rival fans, causing police to use a helicopter and tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Accounts of the trouble were broadcast and published all over the world, but Blatter believes that the gravity of events was magnified by the media, whom Blatter accused of peddling a negative image of African football.

At the signing of a memorandum of understanding between FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Blatter said: "Good news is no news, bad news is news. We only talk about the bad. Football – which is such a good thing – let it live, leave it in peace, it's well organised, let them do it.

"I don't see the negative side of African football that the media presents. It's normal, we criticise what's good, never what's bad. The unhappy role of the media is to assume and to forecast.

"In the past, the government made a decision and the media passed it on. Today, we make decisions and the media have already presented it. We become slaves to the media who have already given an opinion.

"The media can play a role, must play a role, but they must play a role where the notions of respect and fair play are the basics. Today the world opens the newspapers, watches television, and sees only murders and killing. We never talk about princesses marrying any more."

His comments were echoed by CAF president Issa Hayatou, who was equally critical of the media's portrayal of Thursday's events, despite his organisation fining the hosts $100,000 over the incident.

He said: "The press always dramatise, particularly the western press.

"The western media are simply here to perpetuate colonisation."

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