By Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam
This was the day Andrea was leaving us. So, we all had to do our interviews about the AIPS Young Reporters programme; A general assessment of the course and how it has benefitted you, most importantly.
Sonja had told me about it yesterday, but I said I would do mine today. So I woke up early (that's what 7:45am means to me here in Jordan) and made sure I looked good for the interview.
In class today, Martin gave us a lecture on how to write match reports, emphasising on the fact that "the world demands them instantly after the game".
He highlighted the vital elements of a match report which includes, results, key moments, key players, and controversial decisions, what happens next, line ups and game summary. He also taught us how to go about ensuring our match report is delivered on time, almost immediately after the final whistle.
I used to wonder how they do it on FIFA.com, that five minutes or less, after the final whistle you already have a link to the match report of the game. Even though they have to sometimes go through the process of translating to English before it is posted.
And truthfully, I avoid Match Reports. But after Martin was done, and I now know I could even have pre-written intros ready before the game, so that during the match I could just concentrate on the documentation of key moments and impressions, I said "bring it on" (to myself).
During Martin's class I had been called out for the brief interview. I was asked by Sonja what I think about the AIPS Young Reporters Programme and three words to describe the programme.
We had Mark Clark who is Chief Executive Officer for Generations For Peace visit us today.
He told us about their aims and objectives, and how they use sports as one of their tools to build a generation for peace. He also made us know some of the places they have visited, which includes, Kaduna in Nigeria.
It was semi-finals day, and we left for the King Abdullah II International Stadium at 1:30pm. It was in the bus that Martin allocated our assignments for today. And as if he heard the thoughts of my heart, he asked me to do the match report for the Spain vs Japan game.
So, already bearing in mind that Spain would lose, I wrote a convincing intro for Japan and a "just in case" intro for Spain at the Stadium Media Centre before we went to see the game between North Korea and Venezuela. That was the first match.
In the match, it was obvious the North Koreans were out to subdue and cage Deyna. They succeeded. The North Korean coach had mentioned that strategy at the pre-match press conference, but Venezuela could not come up with a plan B.
North Korea's second goal completely demoralised them. Until the Semi-final, the only time they had to come from a goal down to win, was in their quarter-final match against Mexico. They had never been in a situation where they had to recover from two goals down.
When it was time for the Spain vs Japan game. I would have loved an upset, but for the sake of my match report, I rooted for Japan. That notwithstanding, they have been the best team so far and ended up beating Spain 3-0, in spite of the fight from La Rojita.
I submitted my match report on time. Yippee! And I felt so good, many thanks to Martin. I felt free too - I would not have to go back to the hotel with the thoughts of having to finish up an article with a (most times) sleepy head.
But, my runny nose which had tormented me at the stadium, would still not let me be any way.