The Minister of Sport in Paris intervenes on everything, from Milan-Cortina to Euro2032 up to the Tour: “Despite the slowdown due to Covid, I am convinced that everything will be perfect for the Games here, as we are in 2026. We are a wonderful country and strange: excellent at a competitive level but with ample room for improvement in consolidating the sports base”
January 14 – Paris
In Paris for bilateral meetings and an event of the European Fencing Confederation, the Minister for Sport and Youth, Andrea Abodi, also spoke at the Embassy, in the presence of Ambassador Emanuela D’Alessandro, to award the Italian students of the writing competition “The beauty of a gesture”, promoted by Federscherma, on the sidelines of the Foil World Championships in Paris. An opportunity to discuss government policies with the Gazzetta, starting with the objectives for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Where are we with Milan-Cortina, in particular for the bobsleigh track in Cortina and the skating track in Baselga di Piné?
“By Tuesday there will be a meeting with the Minister of Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility, Matteo Salvini, Minister Gilberto Pichetto, for the energy part, Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano, for superintendence, with the members of the Milano-Cortina 2026 foundation and company , to make a point and activate a control room to monitor the public connection and sports infrastructures, which are a crucial, not secondary factor on which the success of the Games depends. The bobsled and luge track will be in Cortina: apart from the increase in costs, due to market dynamics, it will not be a cathedral in the desert, but a world-class facility for everyone. For skating, there will be an announcement from the president of the Province of Trento and from president Malagò. Paris 2024 bears witness to the difficulties exacerbated in recent years by Covid and the increase in energy and raw material costs. The shipyards have suffered a shock, but I am convinced that everything in Paris will be perfect, like for Milan-Cortina”.
If Baselga di Piné skips, is Turin the only alternative for the skating rink?
“There are natural candidates induced by the legacy of past events, such as Turin 2006. Turin is an immediate option. It would be hard to find them in other parts of the country”.
How to deal with the problem of ultra violence in football.
“It is neither a novelty nor an Italian problem, but it jeopardizes our reputation. I talked about it with the presidents Gravina and Casini, the common commitment so far has drastically reduced the problem inside the stadiums, but the guard must not be lowered. What happens outside makes me distinguish between a fan and a violent offender. Clubs are aware of this: typhus and violence are irreconcilable and it must also be taught in typhus schools that clubs and the federation must develop. Then a further qualitative leap in safety and controls must be made, through technologies, in respect of privacy, without militarizing the stadiums “.
At what point are we with the “stadium plan” for the candidacy for Euro2032?
“The federal dossier is ready. There is a first step in March and UEFA will decide in September. Italy has a problem of stadium underdevelopment, but I hope that UEFA will be able to evaluate the opportunity of attributing such an event to a large country like ours, due to the quality of the existing stadiums and the need to improve what c ‘is already. Leaving a positive legacy depends on the foresight of those who apply and those who assign the event”.
Does the stadium plan disregard the European Championship?
“It must disregard it, but it is clear that the European is a push which then guarantees the formal commitment on the part of the government”.
In Milan there is the San Siro node, what is your opinion?
“The certainty is that San Siro will be the scene of the opening ceremony of the 2026 Games. I understand the need of the clubs to guarantee the fans and Italian football a competitive capacity that passes through the modernity of the infrastructures. And I understand the sensitivities on the historical value of San Siro to be preserved. In big cities of other countries where there are more teams, there are also more stadiums. But the question above all concerns the administration of the city of Milan and the two clubs”.
Where are we on the funds for football betting and sponsorships of betting companies?
“Beyond normal insights, it is a priority to recognize rights, and not just charges, to those who organize events on which they bet. It is a process that I respectfully continue within the government, and I hope to complete within a few months. The issue of sponsorships and advertising is more complex. It includes the fight against gambling addiction and the promotion of legal gaming, therefore traceability and spending limits. Skill must be separated from chance. I will present a hypothesis that brings out this difference and enhances a purchase on which the State relies: concessions induce an economic return, therefore it is appropriate to distinguish between legal and illegal gaming”.
And on the opportunity to extend TV rights contracts from three to five years?
“The five years are a horizon on which there will be no problems. You will worry more about today’s market conditions: closing five years today with an unfavorable market can be inconvenient. Better to aim to improve the product, on the domestic and international market, and the relationship between the product and the fans. I am convinced that there is unexpressed potential starting from the inefficiencies of the product, which ripen above all abroad where the value of our football is extremely underestimated. A physical presence through international government collaborations, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ICE (Agency for promotion abroad, ed), would make it easier to reach the final consumer, without the intermediation of broadcasters who do not let us get to know us better”.
In 2024 the Tour de France will start from Italy for the first time, perhaps a symbol of the close relationship between the two countries.
“The Quirinale treaty now in force must also be implemented for sport. France and Italy have a lot to exchange. For example, the French Olympic training center is already frequented by many Italian athletes, managers and technicians. Today I awarded students from the Italian high school in Paris, the Da Vinci, who follow an Italian program and therefore have one hour of sport a week; and those of the Italian section of the international school of Saint-Germain-en-Laye who instead have one day a week of sport: there is room for inspiration and to do more. We want to relaunch the Youth Games as a manifest project for the solemn commitment to improve school infrastructure, thus giving a logical sequence to the school sports agenda, with more hours of sport, not only practiced but also told in its heroic expressions, in the values and rules; sport is also important for health monitoring and prevention, for this reason extra-curricular training should also be promoted, with the almost mandatory possibility that school gyms are made available to sports clubs, tightening the relationship between schools and the territory” .
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January 14, 2023 (change January 14, 2023 | 6:49 pm)
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