The year 2021 has not been an easy year, but now we are facing 2022 with the hope that something better will come. I think we have to be optimistic, even if our last two years have not been so good. I think our profession has been put in danger in these two years: many of us have lost our jobs since there was no possibility to enter the stadiums and, in general, to develop our skills by meeting people. This is something that must be restored.

We have to defend our independence in the pandemic situation, even from some sports officials who prefer to be involved with PR instead of real journalists. I think that our fight will be more difficult than before, but I am optimistic because I think all of you want to fight to defend our profession and credibility.

We have spoken lots of times about fake news, we are getting close to winning this fight IF WE invest in culture.

This year of sports, 2022, will involve two big events: the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and the FIFA World Cup in Doha, one at the beginning of the year, the other one at the end of it. Regarding Beijing, we have heard about possible boycotts, political boycotts. I think a boycott is not useful at all, we have seen it in 1980 and 1984. It means only a generation of athletes, in case of a boycott, will lose the opportunity to ensure a better future. For this reason, it is better to avoid this kind of scenario.

For the rest, we must remember that sport is something that helps people stay together, something that helps future generations to know each other for a better future. Remember, sport is culture, and even our profession is culture. We have to defend it since there are lots of enemies against us: doping, match-fixing, things that want to destroy our possibility to create a better future for everyone.

Sport is an important tool to change society itself, and I think we have to follow this path. So, have a nice 2022 and let us be together again, even in our Congress, in person, and not only in video.

Source: Gianni Merlo| AIPS President