Friday, November 26, 2004

FIRS annual Congress: minute by minute updates (LIVE)

18 15 GMT
The different delegates of the FIRS have started entering the hall where the FIRS Congress will take place.
Ramon Basiana, president of the Catalan federation, has confirmed that the Spanish government has interfered with the voting and have pressured many governments and federations.

18 20 GMT
The actual president of the FIRS, Isidro Oliveras will open the annual congress. After his speech he is expected to present his resignation.

18 25 GMT
We must remember that the FIRS Executive Committee has accepted an appeal against the decision taken yesterday.
Therefore, if only one federation asks for a voting to ratify the decision taking by the committee the congress will have to vote. Then if 51% of the votes are against the decision of the Executive Committee, Catalonia will have to be included in the list of federations provisionally admitted and will have another chance to become a full member of the FIRS.

18 27 GMT
The different members of the FIRS are starting to take a seat in the hall. The Congress will begin in a few minutes.

18 57 GMT
The Congress hasn't started yet. There is a delay of one hour due to unknown reasons.

19 15 GMT
The president of the FIRS has started his speech.
Oliveras who was supposed to present his resignation at the beginning of this meeting hasn't done so yet.
Oliveras has explained the decision taken by the Executive Committe. He has said that his absence from the voting yesterday was to allow the other members to vote without any pressure since he had previously expressed his favorable opinion to the recognition of Catalonia.
Oliveras has congratulated the Spanish federation and their representatives.

19 32 GMT
Oliveras has asked for a few minutes to explain his beliefs. Now he is talking about ethical decisions and assumption of political responsibilities. For these reasons he presents his unconditional resignation. He believes that he must present his resignation since it is clear that the Committe doesn't share his ideas and consequently it wouldn't be right to carry on presiding the FIRS.
He has presented Ernesto Gonzalez Molina as the new provisional president of the FIRS.

20 06 GMT
Oliveras has stated that the appeal presented by the Catalans will be seen in item 12 of the meeting. He has explained that if the appeal is accepted the Congress will have to vote. Oliveras has also stated that the representatives of the Catalan and Spanish federation might have the chance to speak and express their arguments.
Oliveras has also explained that the FIRS has to be cautious with the way this issue is handed since if the FIRS constitution is broken the issue could be taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and that could have awful consequences for the FIRS.

20 15 GMT
The provisional president of the FIRS Ernesto Gonzalez Molina has taken over Isidro Oliveras and he is going through the different items of the meeting.
As the Catalan appeal is item 10 we will be back in due time.

21 00 GMT
It appears that in 2 or 3 hours, Jean Louis Dupont, the lawyer representing the Catalan federation will speak to the FIRS congress to explain that the decision taken by the Executive Committee is not legal and therefore the Congress should reverse the decision taken yesterday. If the Congress decide not to reverse that decision, Dupont will express the desire of the Catalan federation to take the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

21 17 GMT
The Congress has aproved the admission of a set of federations in which Catalonia is not included.
Afterwards, the item 12 will be raised and the president will ask whether any federation wants the voting to be secret.

21 22 GMT
Mexico has asked for the voting to be secret. The president of the Spanish federation is protesting against this decision. There is a big argument between the Spanish representative and the FIRS. The president of the Spanish federation wants to vote the ratification of the decision the Executive Committe whether the Congress wants to vote the provisional admission of each country one at each time.

21 30 GMT
Chaos at the Congress!
The Spanish federation is demanding not to vote but there is an appeal from the Catalan federation and therefore it has to be ratified or rejected by the members of the Congress in secret voting.
The spanish representatives are not allowing the Catalan lawyer to speak in the Congress. Jean Louis Dupont wants to explain the Congress that the voting has to be secret if two federations ask for this. The Catalan federation should be allowed to speak since they have filed an appeal that has been accepted.
The Spanish lawyer has just told the Catalan lawyer to get out of the Congress since he has not spanish nationality (?)
The situation is now very tense.

21 45 GMT
The Congress has voted against the admission of Gibraltar. The voting has not been secret.
The Congress has voted against the admission of Catalonia. The voting has not been secret. The Spanish federations has applauded the decision. The Congress has not allowed the Catalan representatives to defence their arguments.

22 00 GMT
The Catalan federation has abandoned the FIRS congress and are getting ready to talk to the press in brief.
Meantime, Oliveras de la Riva thinks that after this decision the Catalan teams, 12 out of 14 in the Spanish league, might decide to creat their own European league.
This would mean the end of the Spanish federations. We must remember that 98% of the roller hockey players in the Spanish league are Catalans.

22 30 GMT
In press conference the Catalan representatives together with the former president of the FIRS, Oliveras de la Riva, have criticised the manners in which the voting has taken place.
The Congress asked its members to vote whether they disagreed with the decision taken by the Committee, since the vote was not secret the implications of this were highlighted by the Catalans.
Ramon Basiana, president of the Catalan federation, has accused the members of the Spanish federation of being racist towards the Catalans.
Isidro Oliveras, former president of the FIRS has explained that because he is no longer the president of the FIRS he is now free to fully speak his mind.

First he has apologised for the behaviour and the way the Congress has been ruled. Oliveras has stated that the FIRS constitution has been infringed in many ways.
In addition he has offered his services and help to the Catalan federation and has congratulated the Catalan federation for the way they have dealt with the controversy at all time.

Jean Louis Dupont, the lawyer of the Catalan federation has explained that he was told by the Spanish representatives that he could not speak and defence the Catalan arguments since he was not Spanish.
Dupont has read a letter in which the Spanish government confirmed that the federations were private institutions and therefore the government couldn't interfere in any way with any decision taken on this matter. Dupont has affirmed that despite that letter they have proof of pressures made by the Spanish government to different federations.

Listen to it live at RAC1:


Anonymous said...

congratulations for that blog since Gelida, Barcelona.

Anonymous said...

I want to be a part of this bad country called spain. My home is Catalonia and my federation is the Catalan!.

Freedom for Catalonia!

Anonymous said...


It could be possible that it would be a different european league to include the catalan teams , if this teams separate from the spanish league!!!!

tomorrow, we don't play the european league!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that Spain is killing hockey and Roller Sports.
FIRS would have to kick out spain.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you ashamed Spaniards? do you want to be always the black "Spain is different"?

Catalans, the whole world is with you!

If it's not this time, it will be next, or the next, or the next, ... but it WILL be.

Please go on, and take the world with you!
Charles Edding, CA

Anonymous said...

how hipicritical of FIRS when they allow other federations in EXACTLY the same position to remain as members, but bow to the Spainish bastards cries. I suppose we couldn't expect anything different from the Spainish as the inclusion of Catalonia would finish Spain as a top team. Long live Catalonia and don't stop now, take it to the higher court and win your position, as you are truelly one of the strongest teams in our great sport and your inclusion can only benifit the sport globally. Today was avery sad day for Roller Hockey please lets make tomorrow a good one.

Anonymous said...

Spanish Federation returned to the past spanish fascism.
It was unveievable. Spain will kil roller sports Federation, they will kill hockey and roller skating.
What a stupid country, what a stupid people.

Anonymous said...

Stop spreading confussion!!. There is no catalan nation and for that reason there is no catalan "national" team.
Today Catalonia, to all the legal effects, is just a region of Spain, not a country , a state or a nation. Perhaps this situation could change in the near future, but at this moment this is the true and only reality. If someday in the future, Catalonia is a true and recognized nation or state, then it will be able to have its "national team", but today this is just impossible.

Anonymous said...

It seems that you don't know the difference between state and nation. Scotland is a nation, and Spain is a state. Gotcha ? Catalonia is not a state, but a nation.

Also in FIRS there are a lot of federations non-representing states, like Macao (China), Taipei (China), Hong Kong (China), Scotland (UK), England (UK), Wales (UK) ...

Anonymous said...

Well, "Catalonia is a nation" is no more than the expression of a hope or a desire of yours, not a reality. Today catalonia is not recognized as a nation by spain, but as a "comunidad autonoma" of the spanish nation. If you want to change this status, perfect, go for it, you are on your right, but don´t try to give a false image of the present situation of Spain or Catalonia.