"It's not normal, it's not European standard!", screamed a female western-European journalist in a German accent.
At the Baku ESC, rules are strictly followed without exception..even when they may not make much sense.
After Semifinal 2 last Thursday, many members of the press had to exit the Crystal Hall and walk around the building to reach the Press Centre for the qualifiers press conference. The Press Centre is in a separate building close to the Crystal Hall.
The path to the Press Centre from the Crystal Hall is blocked by metal barricades for security reasons, and the only way to get to the other side of the barricades was by re-entering the Crystal Hall through the last door before the barricades and then immediately exit the through the next door which is then on the other side of the barricades, and from there it's just 200 metres to the Press Centre.
But the journalists were not allowed to re-enter the Crystal Hall by that last door, because on the wall there was a poster of permitted accreditation access and press accreditation was not on that poster. No amount of explaining would budge the security staff, and they simply pointed to the list and repeated "No press".
The alternative was to make a long detour back around the Crystal Hall to reach the Press Centre from the other side, hence the screaming woman's reaction.
But surely shrieking like a shrew and insulting the host country is not the way?
However it is a fact that some journalists believe that the concept of freedom of the press has made them Lords of the Universe, and dare anyone criticise or obstruct them and pain and scorn will fall on the head of that poor unfortunate because he is too dumb (or not European enough..) to understand "freedom of the press".
After watching the hysterics of the screamer with amusement, I spied a break in the metal barricades where another security guard was standing watch, so I walked over, smiled at him and quietly said, "I have to get over there to the Press Centre; please?", and it worked.
You see, there was no permitted accreditation poster at that break in the barricades, so according to the rules nothing restricted the press from passing through to the Press Centre. I'm sure the polite request helped too..