Other Sport

Italy risk Olympic exclusion over new sports law

2019-08-07 13:21
olympics
Olympics (File)

Lausanne - Italy's place at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo is in danger after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) warned the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) of "serious concerns" about a proposed new sports law.

The letter, which was addressed to CONI president Giovanni Malago and has been seen by AFP, said the legislation  "would clearly affect the autonomy of CONI".

The letter, disclosed on Tuesday in the Corriere de la Serra newspaper, recalled the fundamental principles of Olympism whereby membership of the Olympic movement "requires compliance with the Olympic Charter and recognition by the IOC."

James Macleod, director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations, who signed the letter, said the new legislation would not conform to the Olympic charter.

He suggested amendments to the draft decree and emphasised that CONI should not, as the draft law proposes, be reorganised by "unilateral decison from the government."

"CONI should be an autonomous and legally independent organisation governed primarily by the Olympic Charter and its own statutes, within the framework of the applicable laws under which it is legally registered in the country," he said.

Contacted by AFP, a CONI official said the situation was "complicated" after Italy's parliament adopted framework legislation late Tuesday following the publication of the letter.

The legislation authorises the government to bring in reforms to the organisation of Olympic sport. But lawmakers insisted that the independence of CONI would be respected.

"We succeeded in passing a non-binding resolution which authorises the government to exercise its prerogatives while respecting the Olympic Charter," Senator Claudio Barbora was quoted as saying by the Italian media.

Sports Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, a close ally of deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, said the work of adopting formal legal decrees would continue.

"In the process we will clarify all misunderstandings as shown in the letter from the IOC official," he added.

Just a year ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, the IOC letter warned that the IOC chiefs had the power to suspend or withdraw recognition of a national Olympic committee (NOC) "if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in the country concerned, or any act by any governmental or other body causes the activity of the NOC or the making or expression of its will to be hampered".

The IOC is proposing a meeting this week in Lausanne with CONI to "help resolve the issue". 

The warning also comes less than two months after the Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo won the bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. 

In 2015, in a case of government interference, the IOC suspended the National Olympic Committee of Kuwait. Its athletes participated under a neutral flag at the 2016 Rio Games. The suspension was lifted last month.

Read more on:    olympics 2020  |  tokyo 2020  |  olympics

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.