Monday, 23 March 2009

Abete re-elected as FIGC President

Giancarlo Abete has been re-elected as the President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) after elections were held in Rome today.

Giancarlo AbeteAbete, who has been the head of FIGC since April 2007, was the sole candidate standing for the position and received the backing of 98% of the members in the Federal electoral council.

"Thank you for the trust and confidence you have given me," Abete, who has been given a mandate of four years, reacted. "There is a strong willingness to work together with all the Federal Council and I hope to honour you with hard work, commitment and results.

"Italian football is certainly in better shape than it was two years ago, but it has been a hard year and we will need a lot of passion to continue past the current problems."

Abete identified three main priorities for his second term: to continue the fight against football-related violence, to update and build new stadiums and to help improve the sport's fight against the current economic crisis.

"The three different situations have to be addressed differently," the 58-year old said. "The trend on combating violence is good and incidents are steadily decreasing from week to week, but we must keep our guard high and not give up.

"We have started the road to recovery for our stadiums. Recently we participated in the signing of the financing of Juventus' new stadium and we will try to create the conditions for further clubs to do the same, to improve the relationship between local authorities and football clubs. Also, we need to offer a positive response or we will fail with our bid to host UEFA Euro 2016.

"As for the economic situation, 2009 has been a very difficult year for the whole country, and football has faced the same problem but we must tackle against the global economic crisis so it doesn't impact on an industry upon which so many people rely."

Following the confirmation of his re-election, Abete held a brief meeting with the heads of the main components of the Federation - Lega Calcio (Serie A and B) President Antonio Matarrese, Lega Pro (Lega Pro 1 and 2) President Mario Macalli, Lega Dilettanti (National Amateur leagues) President Carlo Tavecchio, the vice-President of AIC (Italian Players' Association) Leonardo Grosso, the President of AIAC (Italian Manager's Association) Renzo Ulivieri and the President of AIA (Italian Referee's Association) Marcello Nicchi.

Abete will also be standing as a candidate to be elected to the UEFA Executive Committee at the 23rd Ordinary UEFA Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark on Wednesday. If Abete is elected as one of the nine new members, Italian football will continue to have a strong voice inside European football's governing body after former FIGC President Franco Carraro decided not to stand for re-election.

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