FIR threatens Triviso

2011-11-07 09:36

Rome - The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) hit out at Celtic League franchise Treviso for not respecting an agreement which is designed ultimately to improve the national team's prospects.

In a bid to help develop future Italy internationals the FIR contributes up to 60 percent of the salary of every player at Aironi and Treviso who is part of the national set-up, as well as those of much of the coaching staff.

Aironi and Treviso both play in the Celtic League, which includes teams from Ireland, Wales and Scotland and is seen as a springboard for up and coming international players.

The FIR have accused Treviso of looking after their own interests and ignoring their needs by hiring foreigners.

"The Executive Committee has expressed unanimous regret and concern about the situation that has been created by Treviso, which has been characterised by behaviour and attitudes towards the FIR which do not conform to the spirit of co-operation necessary to reach the explicit aims of Italian participation in the Celtic League," said a FIR statement.

"The Executive Committee therefore hopes that this last effort that will be made to normalise the situation in view of reciprocal interests and with respect to the aims, will have a positive outcome."

If no resolution is found, the FIR could end its financial backing and instead create a rival franchise which would then take Treviso's place in the Celtic League.

Currently, the FIR has reduced the number of foreign players its franchises can field from five to three but Treviso have appealed that decision in the courts.

Treviso are also apparently preparing an appeal against another FIR stipulation which will limit the positions in which those foreigners can be fielded.

Italy went to the World Cup in New Zealand in September and October with two fly-halves, neither of whom was first choice for his club side.

Although the discovery of Treviso pair Fabio Semenzato and Eduardo Gori has solved Italy's long-standing scrum-half problems, they are still searching for a top quality number 10.

But previous coach Nick Mallet, who left after the World Cup, complained that no Italian was a regular starter at flyhalf in a Celtic League team last season.