CONI Italy’s Olympic Committee faced with a serious problem as draft law ‘Sport e Salute’ can be put forward in 2021
Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò has warned the risk of the country’s flag and anthem being banned at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo is “very high” due to potential Government interference.
Malagò spoke to Radio Rai about the potential repercussions of the passing of a draft sports law which could reduce the role of CONI in Italian sport.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is concerned the law would constitute Government interference in a National Olympic Committee, strictly prohibited under the Olympic Charter, and has raised doubts about the autonomy of CONI.
Malagò has claimed the IOC is set to decide on possible sanctions at its next Executive Board meeting on January 27.
In September, IOC President Thomas Bach warned the organisation was “very concerned about the situation and the functioning of the CONI”.
Malagò, who recently had a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to discuss the situation, has urged the Government to find a solution to the dispute.
“The risk of going to Tokyo without an anthem and a flag is very high,” he said.
“Nobody wants sanctions, it would be scary.
“We hope that those who have the honour and responsibility to find the solution, at least keep their word, because by now everyone knows the risk we run.”
The Italian Parliament approved the law which created a Government-controlled organisation established to distribute funds to the country’s national governing bodies in late 2018.
The new body, “Sport e Salute” – or Sport and Health – reduces CONI’s role to only handling preparation for the Olympic Games.