“The word ‘match’ was forbidden to us. What was the censorship of sports in the USSR and Russia


A number of words have been banned on Match TV. Anglicisms were censored, some of which came into use long before the appearance of the sports TV channel. They say that the decree was issued from the very top – from the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, who is fighting for the purity of the Russian language.

The list of inadmissible on the air includes such words as “underdog”, “assist”, “back”, “background”, “goal scorer”, “def”, “capper”, “keeper”, “cover shadow”, “corner “,” Coach “,” like “,” long ball “,” loser “,” midfielder “,” no-name “,” know-touch-pass “,” okay “,” performance “,” pivote “,” play -out “,” ref “,” roster “,” sweeper “,” skills “,” slow-motion “,” stand-by “,” stopper “,” striker “,” targetman “,” team-building “,” team -spirit “,” training “,” fleet “,” hav “,” highlight “,” short-list “and” Championship “.

In the list of admissible only in a specialized explanatory context – “role”, “bisiclet”, “box-to-box”, “double-ve”, “winger”, “derby”, “inside”, “insider”, “lateral” , “Pipe”, “regista”, “teraflex”, “tiffozi”, “trequartista”, “fantasist” and “challenge”.

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They say that this is a direct instruction from Alexey Miller.

The situation at Match TV is a reason to recall the prohibitions that existed on Soviet television, where censorship was much stricter, and Russian television at an early stage of its development. We talked to journalists with extensive experience on TV and found out what they faced.

“I don’t call handball handball anymore. You yourself understand – consonance “

Popular TV commentator Vladimir Gomelsky has been on television since the late 1980s. He worked in various sports, but primarily his specialization is basketball. It all started with basketball.

“In 1990, I had a case at the Goodwill Games in Seattle,” Gomelsky recalls. – I came there, worked on the central television. The editor then was Alexander Vladimirovich Ivanitsky, the earth rest in peace to him. And this, in fact, was my first independent work. On the day I commented on two games: one with the participation of the Russian national team, and one game of the US national team. Ivanitsky was very worried about me, so he sat down next to me, put on a headset and listened. Then there were still two halves of 20 minutes each, not four quarters. After the first period, I was about to go out to breathe, but he stopped me and said: “Can you speak Russian at all?” I say: “What’s the matter?” He replies: “What is a block shot? What is dunk? ” And these are the accepted terms. Of course, you can say “hit the shot”, you can say “scored from above” or “hit the nail”. But I preferred what is accepted in the world, for which I received a comment. After that Ivanitsky complained about me to his father, who was also at the Games and worked. I got it from my dad at breakfast the next day. He pounded me for this specifically. I say: “Okay, but what to do?” He told me: “You comment on basketball for everyone. Sometimes for those who watch it for the first time. Therefore, you must chew. ” Now, if I’m not in a hurry, after using a foreign term, I explain its meaning. I think this is correct.

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And there was another case. I’m a versatile person, I have commented on many sports. Once at the Olympics, a big boss reprimanded me for the word “handball.” Do you understand why, huh? Consonance. Since then I have never called handball handball, only handball. I accepted this remark without offense, I could have guessed myself. “

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“If people fly to the streets, look, no matter how it is connected with your comment.”

Grigory Tvaltvadze has been commenting since 1997. In his professional career, there have been many reports from football matches. He also recalled a couple of stories from his practice.

“I had a case before the match between Russia and Belgium at the 2002 World Cup. Then, before the game, there were pogroms after being defeated by the Japanese. They called me and said: “Grisha, be more careful, be more attentive. Not a single word. Do not remember at all what happened in Moscow. God forbid you mention it. And if our people lose and the people will fly to the streets again, look, no matter how it is connected with your comment. ” I can’t say what was said, that some words should not be used, but there was a wish.

As for the instructions about the words, I also had such a story. Final of the Russian Cup in 2004: Terek – Wings of the Soviets. It was a difficult situation. Akhmat Kadyrov was blown up just before the match. And this finale is generally the first broadcast to Chechnya. In 2003, the war had just ended. I was then warned that, God forbid, during the broadcast I would utter phrases like “went on the attack”, “launched an attack”, “shot from outside the penalty area”, “the ball flies like a cannonball”. Military terminology had to be eliminated. I held on for the whole match, but, in my opinion, I still said “let’s go on the attack” once per game. Then I told this story to the management of the Grozny club in 2013, when I was invited to Grozny to the Cup final as a person with whom victory is associated. There was an awkward pause when I spoke. But at that time it was caution, which had many fair moments.

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If we talk about the USSR, then there was a very strict self-control among the commentators. The great Nikolai Ozerov had an interesting story. In February 1972, he commented on the opening of the Sapporo Winter Olympics. And during the broadcast, he said the phrase: “Dear friends, we are in the Japanese city of Sapporo, far from home.” It would seem a common phrase, no big deal. But 15 minutes after the end of the broadcast, Lapin, the head of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, called Ozerov and said: “Nikolai Nikolayevich, you are actually 50 kilometers from your homeland. Or is the Far East not the Soviet Union for you? ” And after all, by and large, he was right. “

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“The censor said to replace Zenit with a team from Frunze”

Another prominent Russian journalist, who asked not to be named, spoke about censorship on Soviet television:

“The decision on all issues was taken by the CPSU Central Committee, the department of propaganda and agitation. They tracked culture, sports. Then the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gromyko was generally called “Mr. No”. There were continuous bans, books by Russian poets could not be bought in the store. Forbidden to pronounce the word “match”, asked to say “game competition”. Not a corner, but a corner. Not offside, but offside. Not a penalty, but a penalty kick. It was “recommended”. No one publicly recognized this, because freedom of speech was spelled out. But there were censors who followed the text, the audio. Everything was read. I had a story, I wrote an article about Zenit from Frunze. The censor told me to replace it with “a team from the city of Frunze.” After all, the enemy will find out that we have a huge enterprise not only in Leningrad.

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Commentators were removed from the broadcasts for an incorrect expression, there were debriefings. One day the big bosses felt that the commentator Sarkisyants podpishvim was commenting on figure skating. As a result, he no longer worked in figure skating. ”

The son of the famous sports journalist Boris Borovsky, a former Eurosport commentator, Vladimir Berezov, said that in the USSR they could be dismissed from work even for a wrong emphasis:

“There were whole lists of words that could not be pronounced. My father talked about this, since in Soviet times he worked on the radio. The chairman of the State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company followed this personally. And for accents. According to the pope, for the wrong stress they could simply be removed from the air. Everything was watched very closely. The purity of the language was important; large numbers of Anglicisms were definitely undesirable. There is nothing of the sort in this. There is a Russian language, Russian words. Why use something else. “

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