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“In Spanish, he became a verb, a noun and an adjective, but for the rest of the world, he was also a language. For Argentinians, he was a passport more valid than any document.” This is just one way AIPS Mentor Martin Mazur describes the iconic Diego Armando Maradona, who adorns the cover of the latest AIPS magazine.

He passed away in November at the age of 60 and this loss left a huge void in the world of sports, with special tributes pouring in from every sphere of life for the legendary footballer. Issue IV of 2020, which is now online and available for download, also highlights the record-breaking feat of the AIPS Sport Media Awards in a year riddled with dramatic difficulties due to the coronavirus.

“ON THE PITCH HE WAS A POET”

Those were the words of Pope Francis as he described Diego Maradona in a long exclusive interview with Pier Bergonzi for La Gazzetta Dello Sport – excerpt of the interview can be found on Page 46. According to Martin Mazur: “Maradona was not just a football hero, he became an indelible part of Argentina’s identity. It was the fable of the poor boy that fought against all odds.” Mazur’s tribute to Maradona begins from Page 36 and is followed by another piece, written by AIPS Football Delegate Keir Radnedge, which extolled the World Cup achievements of the “monuments men” – Maradona and Paolo Rossi, who were not just indivisible in glory but also indivisible in death.

OLYMPICS IN A BUBBLE

One of the persistent questions in the sports world today is whether the Tokyo Olympic Games will be take place this summer. Uncertainty is orbiting around this query as Japan continues to battle a surge in COVID-19 cases. A total of 11 prefectures, including the host city Tokyo, covering more than half of the country’s population and around 60 percent of its economy are under state of emergency through February 7. AIPS President Gianni Merlo tried to predict the most likely scenario in which the Games in Tokyo would go ahead. He however does not foresee a situation where the marquee event is cancelled. Page 49.

FAKE NEWS, OUR CORONAVIRUS

If 2020 will be remembered as the year of coronavirus, “2021 will be the year of hope, the hope of rebuilding the credibility of our profession, because fake news is our Coronavirus” in the words of AIPS President Gianni Merlo (page 9). The economic situation for sports journalists has gotten worse worldwide. Thousands of colleagues have lost their jobs because sports events shutdown and restricted press access do not help. Merlo shared his thoughts on how credibility and resilience can help in these tough times.

AIPS 2021 CONGRESS POSTPONED

It was officially confirmed at the Executive Committee meeting held on November 25 that the AIPS 2021 Congress would be held in the first half of March 2022, in Italy. The Executive Committee decided to postpone it to March 2022 to give every national association the opportunity to travel to the congress. The EC also confirmed that the AIPS Sport Media Awards 2020 ceremony would be held virtually in March 2021.

AIPS SPORT MEDIA AWARDS

The third edition of the AIPS Sport Media Awards amassed a record of 1871 submissions (in 34 different languages) coming from 129 different countries. With all continents represented, this edition highlights the remarkable resilience and importance of sports journalism amid the coronavirus pandemic, touching on local and international stories that dominated headlines between October 2019 and November 2020. Pages 58 to 77 of the latest magazine features the names of the participants of the AIPS Sport Media Awards 2020.

Many more stories can be found inside the AIPS magazine thanks to contributions from our National Associations, Commissions and Continental Sections.

If you are interested in sending us material please contact us at the following addresses:

mariapia.beltran(at)aipsmedia.com

n.chibuogwu(at)aipsmedia.com

giorgia.rampi(at)aipsmedia.com

Source: Simone Fant| AIPS Media

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