The Executive to be held on Tuesday must intervene for the independence of the Olympic Committee without which Italy could be sanctioned at the Games. The concern of the president of Fita
“We are living a nightmare at the mere thought that our athletes cannot participate in the Olympic Games under the aegis of the Italian flag and the national anthem”. Angelo Cito, president of the Italian Taekwondo Federation, expresses all his concern in view of January 27, when the IOC could intervene by sanctioning Italy with a depersonalized participation in the Tokyo Games, therefore without anthem and flag. The problem remains the autonomy of the Coni on which a council will be held on Tuesday, January 19.
“It is shocking – continues Cito – and at the same time it would be a shame for the whole of Italy to participate in the Games with a sanction by the International Olympic Committee on us Italians for not respecting the principles of the Olympic Charter. Italian sport does not deserve it ”. The IOC needs an independent CONI, not linked to government bodies such as, at present, Sport and Health. The time left is now short: action must be taken and resolved by midnight on January 26, then the IOC will discuss the Italian situation. The consequences could be heavy: if the CONI were suspended, from a sporting point of view it would mean that there would be no Italian flag at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, Mameli’s anthem would not be played in case of victory, the athletes would wear “neutral” uniforms “Without the words” Italy “and the medals won would fall into the tank of the Independent Olympic Athletes.
The teams risk
But not only. Only qualified and individual Italian athletes would participate in the Games and not the teams. As president Fita points out, all this would have an impact above all on athletes and federations: “I don’t even want to think about what all this would mean for our sport and in particular for those disciplines, such as taekwondo, which await the Olympics to have visibility and be repaid for all the sacrifices made to participate, both by the Athletes and by the federations and by all the sports associations. Let’s not talk about the economic damage that all this would cause: which sponsor would bring their brand closer to a nation that is sanctioned by the IOC or to an athlete who cannot wear their flag during the opening and closing ceremony of the Games? Without thinking about what an award ceremony would be like without our national anthem. In addition to all that we are experiencing due to the pandemic, with a zeroing of all activity and with enormous sacrifices on the part of the whole sector in matches from all the sports associations in the area, this would also add up, a real disgrace “.
The grassroots sport is at a standstill, or almost. Many disciplines do not yet know if they will be able to carry out the Olympic qualifications. Taekwondo itself has undergone a disruption of the international calendar: “Here the very survival of grassroots sport is seriously at risk, thanks to the Olympic Games which obtains important resources for a living – concludes Cito-. No one can say how long it will be possible to resist if this pandemic persists. What do we do? Do we jeopardize the very participation of our athletes in the Games? Without taking into account that if they were to win a medal, one would certainly not speak of the result achieved, but of the sanction inflicted on our country by the IOC and all this would be consumed under the eyes of billions of people following the Olympics. All this is unfair and incredible that it is happening to Italy, a world leader in sport. And don’t tell me that there are other priorities, because this has now become, like other issues such as work and school. The problem has been underestimated for a long time and now there are only a few days left to avoid all this ”.
January 18, 2021 (change January 19, 2021 | 08:58)
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Autonomy Coni, the alarm from Cito: “A nightmare. Let’s avoid the IOC sanction ”