The organizers of the international friendly match between Panama and Spain have denied media credientials to journalists from the newspapers La Prensa and Mi Diario without giving any explanation.
In an e-mail sent this morning by a public relations representative of Showpro and Shockwave, the organizers of the event, the sports editors of the two papers were informed that they would be denied access to the event.
No reason for the decision was given in the e-mail.
Grisel Bethancourt, president of the National College of Journalists, described the decision as outrageous, especially since today is Journalists Day in Panama.
"This shows that the situation of press freedom in Panama is serious and the profession continues to be aggrieved," Bethancourt said.
The decision was also criticized by Spanish journalists Joaquín Maroto and Miguel Ángel Lara de Marke, who stressed that such an action in Spain would be a constitutional violation of free press laws.
While the event is being sponsored by private companies, it has involved the government and the national soccer team, which are entities that must follow constitutional requirements regarding the freedom of the press.