Friday, 23 March 2007

Abete gets FIGC nod

The Lega Calcio has almost unanimously voted to propose Giancarlo Abete as their candidate for the FIGC Presidency.

The Italian Federation needs to have a permanent chief in place if they are to receive the Euro 2012 games, where they are currently shortlisted along with Poland-Ukraine and Hungary-Croatia.

Extraordinary Commissioner Luca Pancalli was drafted in following the Calciopoli scandal, but has made it clear he has no intention of seeking the role on a firm basis.

Today the Lega Calcio – a union of the Serie A and B clubs – voted to put forward current FIGC vice-President Abete for the position with Lega President Antonio Matarrese as his running mate.

The elections to decide the next Federation President will be held on Monday April 2. All 39 clubs present voted for this proposal, although Sampdoria abstained.

"Today the Lega gave a great show of maturity," said Matarrese, himself a former FIGC President. "The Federation President must take on his responsibilities and Abete will do that.

"It must not be read as an imposition that the Lega is putting forward its own President as candidate for vice-President of the FIGC."

Pancalli also added that his decision to turn down the permanent post was not due to the fact this is an unpaid position.

"I did not request money to stay, nor did I reject a proposal to remain, because the issue was never even discussed," he insisted.

"I had a precise mandate – to conclude the Commissioner’s work, take the Federation to elections and rewrite the rule book after Calciopoli. That is what I shall do."

Pancalli will return to his previous work as chief of the Italian Paralympic Committee and vice-President of CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee).

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