IOC warns Italy of “serious concerns” about new sports law, risks exclusion from Tokyo 2020 and Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympics

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The decree law on sport passed in Italy’s Senate on 7 August has raised the temperature in a dispute between Italy and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, who warns that it contravenes the Olympic Charter and could lead to the expulsion of the Azzurrifrom the Games.

The IOC had already sent an urgent letter to Giovanni Malagò, president of the Italian Olympic committee CONI, urging him to take up the issue “at the highest level” with the government. But the law was still voted in by 154 ayes, 54 nays and 52 abstentions.

Since it is a decree law, in comes into effect immediately but must be ratified by parliament within 60 days, or it will expire. This will presumably allow time for the offending (to IOC) clauses to be renegotiated.

James Macleod, director of Olympic Solidarity and National Olympics Committee Relations who signed the letter, speaking to the media, suggested amendments to the draft decree, emphasising that CONI should not, as the law proposes, be reorganised by “unilateral decision 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.

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,” Sen. Claudio Barbora told Italian media.

Sports Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, a close ally of Deputy PM Matteo Salvini, said the work of adopting formal legal decrees would continue. “In the process we will clarify all misunderstandings expressed in the letter from the IOC,” he added.

Meanwhile, the IOC has invited the Italian government to send a delegation to its Lausanne headquarters to discuss the matter.

via Wanted in Milan 

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