Saturday, November 13, 2004

The controversy extends all over the world

The polemic about the recognition of Catalonia has gone far beyond the spanish borders.
From Argentina the webmaster of 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 ( , 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...

Further information:


Kathie Fry said...

Your blog about the Catalonian Roller hockey is fascinating reading, and I will be sure to publicize it heavily in the 2 weeks preceding FIRS decision on whether or not to recognize the Catalonian Federation. I also appreciate you quoting my article in your blog. I don't have any personal political agenda related to this issue, but it is very important to me that the skaters of the world become familiar with the facts surroudning this issue beyond inflammatory political rhetoric.

note about my affiliation... I was the inline skating editor at for 4 years, from 1999 through 2003, but I resigned from in July of 2003 because my own Web site was getting so large, I no longer had time to edit both the skating site and my own. So now my affiliation is (1) I am the editor of and (2) I am the roller skating editor for the Open Directory project, and (3) I am a contributing writer to Fitness and Speed Skating Times Magazine and USA Roller Sports Magazine.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see that Mr. Oliveras is not alone and that other sport specialists have a view indepently from politcs.

dfons said...

I am very pleased that Kathie Fry has made a comment to this post.
Indeed, it is very encouraging that important people in the world of roller spots contrast their opinions and get involved in this debate which should, ultimately, be focused in the benefits that the recognition of Catalonia will bring to the sport in general.
Thanks for your contribution.

alanricky said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
alanricky said...

This all started off with politicians: guess who was at the FIRS meeting in March which kicked off all this fuss: Rafael NubiĆ³, a member of the Catalan regional government, and member of the Catalan Independence party (ERC). He offered the FIRS money for the head office in Barcelona ($ 400.000) - not a bad amount of "greasing".

Get real. Once a politician gets into your federation, more will follow. Oliveras, a catalan from Barcelona should have know better, and has brought skating into disrepute.

At the Fresno meeting, they even went as far as bringing a belgian lawayer along: Mr. Dupont, who masterminded the "Bosman" case.

So now politicians and lawyers have been brought into the federation.

A very sad state of affairs all round. Well done, Catalonia. You have done us all a disfavour.