The International Olympic Committee has criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), accusing them of attacking press freedom by preventing photographers from covering games between India and England.
IOC Press Commission Chairman Kevan Gosper called on cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council, to intervene to allow news organisations free access to the cricket games between two of the world’s top teams.
International news organisations, including The Associated Press, suspended text and photo coverage of England’s tour of India on Wednesday because of new restrictions introduced by the BCCI.
“The IOC strongly disagrees with these moves by the BCCI,” Mr. Gosper said in a statement, “which we believe are a direct attack on the freedom of the media to report from sporting events, and shows contempt for the sporting public around the world who would otherwise like to follow these important matches.”
The BCCI has barred photo-only agencies from covering games and made a small number of its own photographs available to media.
Other international news organisations have also suspended coverage. The British press has refused to publish photographs of the match between India and England that began on Thursday in Ahmedabad.
“Photographers are news gatherers, and must be granted appropriate access to do their job,” said Mr. Gosper. “We would hope that the ICC intervenes and that sports administrators refrain from interfering with and placing restrictions on the vitally important role of media to freely report from sporting events.”