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Media outlets denied access to India-England cricket series

February 24, 2021 GMT

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — The Associated Press and other media outlets have been prohibited from sending independent photographers to the India-England test match in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. Because of that, the AP has decided not to move any coverage of the event in any format.

Organizers allowed up to 55,000 fans into the match, about half of the recently renovated stadium’s capacity. However, they denied all attempts to negotiate even allowing one or two photographers representing independent media, instead telling news agencies to rely on handouts from photographers paid by the organizers.

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the News Media Coalition and news agencies have negotiated with leagues and sports organizations around the world and have been able to arrange some type of independent coverage in almost all cases. The organizers in Ahmedabad have refused to allow any photographers, referencing advice from medical officials despite allowing thousands of fans into the stadium.

“The presence of an independent news reporting source is necessary in order to ensure the credibility and integrity of the images distributed to world viewers,” said Denis Paquin, director of sports photography for the AP.

In a statement the NMC said: “This is a big miss for the event organizers. Independent photography is vital to the profile and integrity of the game of cricket. News coverage provides a massive commercial boost to sponsors – which those BCCI partners have lost out on.” ___

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