International football tournaments always spring surprises and controversy. However when these are clearly going to be played out with the world’s media keeping a watchful eye, there are a few do’s and don’ts that can help keep reputations protected.
This year’s European Championships is no different and to date, has seen its fair share of giant killings from Iceland beating England to Wales defeating Belgium. Scandal and hooliganism marred the early days of the Championships with England and Russia embroiled in fighting outside and inside the stadiums. So with these becoming common practice at tournaments today what tips do we have for those in the firing line?
Be prepared to speak to the media
After England’s humiliating defeat to Iceland in the last 16, very few people were surprised to see Roy Hodgson resign as Manager. What did surprise us was that he produced a pre-prepared resignation speech from his pocket moments after the defeat at his post-match news conference. This followed with the startling decision that he wouldn’t be taking any questions. He was rightly criticised for this as people felt England’s exit from the tournament warranted a response from the highest paid manager at the tournament. The next day the FA held a news conference and told Hodgson to attend to which he told journalists ‘I don’t really know why I’m here’. Hodgson’s media decisions last week have left his footballing and media reputation in tatters.
Think before you speak
Yes, you would think this would be an obvious one. Russian MP, Igor Lebedev appeared to spur on Russian hooligans by suggesting they should carry on their ‘work’ despite risking expulsion from the tournament. With Russia set to host the 2018 World Cup you would expect someone in such a high position of power to use his media platform to try and calm the situation down.
Be nice to journalists
When you’re a three time Ballon D’Or winner and you’re coming into the tournament off the back of a Champions League final victory it’s fair to say expectations are high. After failing to score in Portugal’s first two games and missing a key penalty, things haven’t exactly gone too smoothly for Cristiano Ronaldo so far. With a nation’s expectations on his shoulders, Portugal’s captain and talisman is bound to feeling some pressure. People weren’t surprised Ronaldo had avoided speaking to the media through the Championships but it obviously all got a bit too much for him during one interview, as he threw the reporter’s microphone into a nearby river. This obviously isn’t something we would recommend or condone and if we were working with Mr Ronaldo we would focus on his media training to get his messages across and keep his cool in these tense situations.
Euan Stirling is a Social Media Executive at Indigo