The polemic about the recognition of Catalonia has gone far beyond the spanish borders.
From Argentina the webmaster of PatinCarrera.com Guido Ferraiuolo, has made statements on many public message boards in October of 2004 stating that if the Catalonian Roller Sports Federation is recognized by the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not allow any roller sport to admitted into the Olympic Games.
Ferraiuolo in some of his statements compares Catalonia to California and states that : "a negative consequence to recognize Catalonia (a region of Spain) is that speed skating is not an Olympic Sport. The Olympic Committee has already told that our sport will not be admitted in the case of the International Federation would recognize a region of a country as a member."
Ferraiuolo adds: "Obviously, we will need to be helped by Mr. Roberto Marotta, President of CIC and General Secretary of FIRS. As we know, we are not the only new sport that wants to cross the line and finally be in the Olympic family. The other members of the CIC, the President of the National Federation and all the Associations in Fresno should work in the same way to obtain what we are working for and to turn on the dream of thousands or skaters worldwide."
However Ferraiuolo has not given the source of his information nor which member of the IOC said that the admission of Catalonia would have a negative impact in the recognition of any roller sport for the Olympic games.
On the other hand, Kathie Fry one of the most prestigious web editors of inline skating (www.skatelog.com) , roller skating editor for the Open Directory project and contributor writer to Fitness and Speed Skating Times Magazine and USA Roller Sports Magazine , voices out her doubts about Ferraiuolo statements.
Kathie Fry suggests that Isidro Oliveras, the president of FIRS and many other FIRS officers and committee members have close ties with the International Olympic Committee, including the president of the IOC and therefore they know better than anyone else what the IOC's opinion is about FIRS recognizing Catalonia as a separate federation with its own team.
Fry does not believe FIRS would prevent roller sports from getting into the Olympics just so Catalonia can have its own roller hockey team. Furthermore, she gives two important reasons, the first one being that it would be very difficult for the FIRS to explain to the public opinion that roller sports would not become Olympic so Catalonia can be recognised, and the second one being purely financial, since the FIRS will significantly get an increase in funding if any roller sport becomes an official Olympic event.
Looks like the diplomatic relations between Spain and Argentina have worked very well so far...