Thursday, November 24, 2005


The Catalan federation of skating will have to wait for another chance to become a member of the FIRS.
The results of today's voting, 125 against Catalonia and 43 for Catalonia, mean that another door has been closed for the Catalan's aspirations.

From catalanhockey we would like to thank all the people who have been working towards the recognition of Catalonia.
You have done a great job! Thank you


Catalan President speech to the FIRS assembly



Rome, 24 November 2005

President, members of the central committee, presidents of FIRS member federations, delegates and friends,

Together with my 18 companions on the board, I am honoured to preside over a federation with 75 years of history, older than the Spanish federation itself, which was founded 24 years later. It is a federation with 20,000 sports licences in the 4 different roller sports. We hold our own competitions in each and every sport and category, the winners of which are the champions of Catalonia. We also take part in Spanish competitions, in the same way as we would like to take part in the international competitions organised by the various FIRS committees. It is our desire to find the highest levels of competition for Catalan sportsmen and women and to take part in the best international competitions, which are none other than those organised by the FIRS. Our aim is a sporting one and, in all sincerity, we believe we have enough sporting potential to contribute positively to the FIRS and its member federations. We want to compete internationally because we are sure that we are good enough and because we believe that direct participation by Catalan skaters will help improve the standard of the competitions organised by the various international committees. Throughout the history of the FIRS, there have been Catalan champions in the three different categories and most of them would have preferred to compete internationally for the Catalan federation. We believe you are all well aware of the standard of our sportsmen and women, of the quality of the Catalan board and the service it has provided to both world and Spanish skating.

Our federation meets all the requirements established in the FIRS statutes, as was understood by the Central Committee on 24 March 2004 in Miami, when it voted unanimously on the provisional admission of the Catalan federation. But above all, it was the TAS itself which stated that, according to the statutes, the Catalan federation could be admitted. All it depends on now is your vote in favour. Therefore, I ask for your support, so that my federation may actively participate in the FIRS. Some delegations still hold that the statutes do not permit the admission of my federation. But do you really think the TAS would have demanded a second ballot if admission was not permitted under the statutes? Would the highest court in sport make us vote on an illegal decision, contrary to our statutes? Since Fresno, a process has been started with the aim of modifying the statutes and thus preventing our federation from being admitted. But the TAS has already decided that the Catalan federation’s admission should be discussed and voted on in accordance with the regulations in force at Fresno. If the statutes are eventually modified, this will not prevent my federation joining the FIRS, following approval by the Congress.

If our federation has the sporting potential which alone makes it worthy of joining the other sports federations, if the admission of the Catalan federations does not contravene FIRS statutes and the Catalan federation is not the first member federation that does not represent a sovereign state, what reasons are there not to admit our federation?

Some of those who are involved in political manoeuvres against the admission of the Catalan federation accuse us of playing politics. Again, I allow you to draw your own conclusions!

Believe me, at all times our actions have been based on sporting criteria. We do not want politics to hold sway over sport. We want to discuss sport, we want to promote skating through cooperation with all member federations. Why should we prevent sportsmen and women from competing internationally, representing their federation? Is that playing politics? We want to strengthen the bonds of cooperation between federations, especially those that are less well off. Is that playing politics?

It is a fact that our federation has signed a protocol for cooperation with the FIRS. We have signed it and done so openly. Is that playing politics? Is cooperating with the FIRS federations playing politics? We support the FIRS. It should be public knowledge and you as delegates should know that our federation, the Catalan federation, has this year subsidised the FIRS. Have we asked for anything in return? All we have done is fulfil our commitments.

Some of those who oppose our admission suggest, as if it were a threat, that if our federation enters the FIRS, it will then be open to other federations that do not represent sovereign states. But which federations do they mean? Are there so many federations that have both sporting potential and represent a nationality, as is the case of the Catalan federation? These are just speculations, ghosts that bear no resemblance to reality. I am here to say, without fear of contradiction, that our federation is a unique case and that there is no other federation in the same situation as the Catalan federation. Therefore, we ask that your vote be carefully considered, free and, above all, that it takes into account the specific, unique circumstances of Catalan skating.

Over the last year, the Catalan federation has made various proposals to help strengthen world skating: the organisation of world games, which would bring together the four sports for the first time and thus demonstrate our strength to the International Olympic Committee; the constitution of a world foundation with the aim of raising funds and collaborating with the FIRS in the promotion of our sport and in having speed skating admitted as an Olympic sport. It is possible that these proposals are the most suitable ones. But so far no-one has indicated that they are wrong, let alone why. What we have received from some people is distrust, alleging that now is not the time for such proposals. But the fact remains that immediate action is required before we reach a point when the problems are insurmountable. If these proposals are not suitable, then it is the FIRS, it is you the delegates, who should accept or reject them. Under no circumstances do they deserve to be flatly rejected.

The Central Committee, in Miami, accepted our provisional membership unanimously. Now the Central Committee recommends that you vote in favour of the opposite position, a position that was not adopted unanimously. But among this diversity of opinions in the Central Committee and the Congress, all of which are respectable if held in good faith, pressures have appeared and with them the division of the FIRS.

Yet the fact is that without the FIRS, by bypassing the FIRS or in contravention of the regulations and statutes, skating cannot remain united nor can it be admitted to the Olympic programme. We believe we can actively cooperate with you all, because above all, we play sport and therefore we would, at the very least, like speed skating to become an Olympic sport.

We have tried to find ways of cooperating with the Spanish federation and this must continue, so that, whatever your decision, both Catalan and Spanish skating may continue to progress. The Spanish federation argues that in Spain it is illegal for the Catalan federation to request membership of the FIRS. Yet the Spanish federation does not mention that Catalonia’s own legislation both permits and promotes it. By way of example, it has been 21 months since the Catalan federation was provisionally admitted in Miami. In that time, neither the Spanish government, nor the Spanish sports authorities, nor the Spanish federation itself, and most definitely not the Spanish courts, have sanctioned, warned or issued a verdict or sentence against me as president or my federation. Why not? The only verdict issued during these 21 months was that of the TAS. Again, please draw your own conclusions!

Today, here in Rome, I, in the name of my federation and thousands of Catalan sportsmen and women, ask for your support, for the good of the sport. We want to be a positive element for cooperation and believe we can be. Why should we give that up? Why are we accused of playing politics? We trust your opinion on the matter. It is for you to decide: Why should we waste the opportunity to cooperate with all those federations that are struggling to promote skating, despite the lack of resources? What political reasons can there be that are more important than cooperation between the federations of the FIRS? Is it not true that many federations cannot even afford the trip that allows them to exercise their rights and to speak as members of the FIRS?

We have the support of a people, a nation, Catalonia, with its own culture and language; we have a government whose own parliament democratically chose to approve are sports laws. All of this supports our request to be admitted to the FIRS and to be able to take part in its competitions.

I know some of you are considering voting for the Central Committee’s recommendation and you may vote against admitting our federation. We understand this and respect your decision. But I also ask that, if at any time during my speech you have thought that we are even partly in the right, i.e.:

that Catalonia’s contribution to world skating has been and is an important one;

that the FIRS can strengthen its processes of participation and democracy;

that the FIRS needs to increase its financial resources;

that the FIRS should consider greater cooperation among all its member federations;

that our mission into the FIRS is not illegal. You all know that we are here today because of a resolution from the highest sports Court, the TAS, which is linked to International Olympic Committee (IOC);

that nowadays there exist 47 other sport countries like Catalonia (England, Scotland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Faeroe Islands, etc…) that are not recognised as a state by the United Nations but who are members from different international sports federations;

that all summer and winter Olympic sports federations such as FIFA, FIBA, IAAF, have admitted as full members different stateless sports countries;

that just a month ago the International Korfball Federation recognised by the IOC like our FIRS, accepted the Catalan federation as a full member. Moreover, the president of the International Korfball Federation is the president of the internationally recognised sports federations Association (ARISF);

if you share any of these opinions, now is time to place your confidence in us and not marginalize a sports country such as ours. After the TAS’s verdict, we believe, that the only fair decision is not blocking our admission because of political reasons since we truly love our roller sports.

I am available to answer any questions or doubts raised with the Catalan federation in this congress after my speech. And consequently, I ask you to vote NO to the recommendation of the Central Committee.

Thank you for your attention. Very soon, or even today we shall become full members of this federation.

Ramon Basiana
Federació Catalana de Patinatge

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Interview with former FIRS president Oliveras de la Riva (II)

With only a few hours left until the Assembly of the FIRS begins in Rome, this is the second part of the interview with Isidre Oliveras de la Riva, former president of the FIRS.

Were there any members of the FIRS who confessed that they wold have voted for Catlonia had the voting been secret?
Yes, many. And people who explained their personal situation. As I was saying, you are a normal person and then suddenly the Spanish Ambassador appears in your office together with your Minister of Sports

Have the Catalans got as many supports as they had in Fresno?
Yes more or less. But we have worked much more on it. After Fresno's experience we have done many things differently. After the recognition in Miami and the World Cup B title in Macau everyone was too confident and euphoric. We lack of discretion. Now we have done things quietly

Is the argument that the admission of Catalonia would be a great improvement for the world's roller hockey still valid?
Yes indeed. My dad was the FIRS president from 1964 and by then roller hockey was the first most imporant skate sport, then there was nothing and then the artistic skating. When I became president in 1990, roller hockey was still the first sport but artistic skating was getting very close. Then in 1990 and 1991 in-line hockey appeared and this is killing us. And if you have a new member like Catalonia, the most important country in the world in terms of roller hockey, how can you say no?

What has Aracu done for the roller hockey?
Nothing. He and his other directors are anti-hockey. Have you seen the situation of the roller hockey un Italy? The Mariotti brothers, Bertolucci and Michielon have been playing for more than 10 years in the national team! Is that bad that they are not getting new players... Look a few days ago I was in the USA and I spoke to one of the members of the FIRS Central committee, james Pollard and he told me that if Catalonia had said that they would only compete in roller hockey for a few years, as everyone knows that roller hockey is Catalonia, they would have had a greater chance.

If in Rome thet say no to Catalonia, what will happen?
We would have to go back to the beginnings after having fought really hard to get out of there... Well not really. You must think that even if the Catalan federation loses the voting, the Spanish federation will have to understand that they have a problem: more thatn 90% of the skating is Catalan. It wouldn't make sense that the top representatives of Spain were Liceo, Alcobendas or Tenerife.
And if Catalonia wins in Rome it would be such a Big Bang that they would have to sit down and reach an agreement.
If fact that is what they should have done from the very beginning. Because in the end, this is an identity issue and in Madrid they are very sensible to these things and they don't really want to understand. Last year I spoke very often to Jaime Lissavetzky and Rafael Blaco and once to the Spanish minister of culture and all they say is that only the Spanish national team can represent Spain. But we don't want to represent Spain!

Will you be in Rome?
I have thought about it and I decided not to go. The votes that we are going to get have been more or less decided and since Sabattino Aracu and Roberto Marotta are trying to convince everyone that it is my fault that the FIRS is in this situation, I think it will be easier for everyone if I am not there. I believe it would have a negative effect on the Catalan delegation.

12 months after what happened in Fresno, would you change anything?
Yes. Maybe I wouldn't resign even if that goes agaisnt my beliefs. I mean, ethically, I am convinced that I had to present my resignation since my team and my central committee voted against what I thought it was right. However, many people have told me that it was a mistake. That in sport politics you have to be inside to be able to change something and you have to ignore the ethics and moral.

If you hadn't resigned during the assembly, would had been a secret voting?
No doubt about this. Aracu couldn't have manipulate the assembly as he did. And another thing that someone mentioned to me afterwards: we didn't have to discuss that in Fresno. We could have waited for a few more months and maybe the situation wouldn't had been that tense....

Let's hope that all the hard work that Oliveras de la Riva has put into this since he became FIRS president in 1990 pays back.
At least he has the eternal gratitude of all the Catalan people.
Gracies Isidre!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Interview with former FIRS president Oliveras de la Riva (I)

From Fresno to Roma. The Catalan hockey was fooled in Fresno and the moral triumph of the decision of the CAS has taken us to Rome.
Oliveras de la Riva, former president of the FIRS is now helping the Catalan federation. However, a year ago the Catalans were full of optimism, now they are full of doubts.

Only 6 days to go. From the chaos of Fresno to the eternal Rome going through the efficiency of Lausanne and the CAS. In 12 months Oliveras de la Riva has gone for being the president of the FIRS to encouraging the Catalan aspirations.

Just after your resignation, you said that you would help the Catalan Federation at any time. Has this happened?
After my resignation I felt relieved. I never said I was neutral. I always fought for what I thoughg it was right and yet from a sportive point of view, no one, absolutely no one can argue that the admission of Catalonia wouldn't have a great postive impact in the sport of roller hockey.
What I have been able to do for Catalonia now is to use my contacts and experience to help them to get the support they need.

Has the Catalan Federation any option this time?
Yes. Right now we have at least the option to have an option. In Fresno, during my speech I advise the FIRS Assembly that we had to respect the law, otherwise the FIRS would have to go to the CAS and that would cost us lots of money. And it proved me right. I didn't want this to happen. But the tension was too high that the Assembly became a disaster and the basic principles were ignored.
The Catalan federation won the CAS appeal and this was the first victory. The second, and possibly the most important, was the sentence stating that with the FIRS statutes in Fresno, the recognition of the Catalan federation was legal. However these statutes have now changed.
That is the reason why the Assembly has to be repeated.
In addition the voting will be secret and this is very important in such a sensible environment. It is very different what people will say in public that what they would say if it was a secret voting.

So, is the Catalan federation favourite to win in Rome?
I believe that only a state can beat another state. I could imagine that but it was all confirmed in Fresno. If Mr Moratinos (Spanish Secretary of International Relations) gets on the phone and rings his a minister in Uruguay, Chile or Brasil, this has an enormous power and influence. "Hey listen, there is something about skating in Catalonia and Spain and you must...." "Ok?" This is extremely powerful. Especially when we are talking about undervelop countries in which the poor president of the skating federation gets a visit of his Prime minister in a Mercedes to tell him that they shouldn't allow Catalonia to go through...

Has Catalonia got more options now though?
Of course. Many more. Fresno was a farse and even though everything was planned they didn't dare to have a secret voting.
And now, we are pessimistic. Look, when that was over we started to work towards today. I started helping a group of people who are working very hard to get this right. We were sure that the Assembly would have to be repeated. They scored with handball, offside and with the referee admiting his mistake! And then there were two things we had to do. The first one is to get to this Assembly as losers, because then the opponent feels that everything is under control and relaxes. The second is to avoid a tense atmosphere. About 60% of FIRS delegates didn't really care about the political implications but they were overwhelmed by the tense atmosphere and the discussions that took place on that day.
Now, I'm not saying that we will be successfull on the voting.

But this time Sabattino Aracu, has had plenty of time to put everything together?
Yes, but I had the same power and we lose. In Miami, the central commitee decided to admit Catalonia by 9 votes to 0. In Fresno we lose 6 to 3. So the power of the president is relative.

In Fresno Aracu warned the Assembly of the effects that the admission of Catalonia would have in the options of being recognised as an Olympic sport.
Yes, and it has proved that he was wrong. In March we provisionally admited Catalonia and in September the IOC selected us as one of the 5 final sports to become Olympic. In November, Catalonia wasn't finally admitted and then in July the IOC didn't admit us.
When I have talked to people from the FIRS I have told them that voting for Catalonia is a legal act and this has been proved by the appeal to the CAS and that the arguments of Sabattino Aracu with regards the Olympic options were completely wrong. FIFA has 24 federations that are not proper estates and football is an Olympic game.
The IOC has no power to influence the decisions of private federations.

Very interesting....more to follow.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Catalan federation of Korfball has been recognised

Catalonia has been admited as full member of the International Federation of Korfball (IFK), a federation who is recognised by the International Olympic Commitee (IOC).
This is a big step forward for the aspiration of the Catalans to be able to compete internationally with their own teams and surely will have a great impact in the forthcoming assembly of the FIRS in which the re-admission of Catalonia as a full member will be discussed and voted again.

Catalonia has secured the admission into the IFK after gaining 37 votes out of 42. According to the president of the Catalan Federation of Kofball, Toni Jurado, this decision is final and there is no possible similarity to the situation that the Catalan Federation of Roller Sports suffered in the past. "A new panorama for the Catalan sport has been opened by this decision", Toni Jurado stated after the great news were confirmed.

Well done!!!

Now let's see what is the Spaniards reaction.....It won't take long!!!

For more information on Korfball visit:

Catalan korfball national team

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The FIRS assembly will be held on the 24th of November

The next FIRS assembly, in which Catalonia will have another chance to be recognised as a full member of the FIRS, will take place in Rome on the 24th of November.
Following the decision of the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), the voting of the assembly will have to be secret and on the agenda there will have to be room for Catalonia to expose their point of view and to defend their position.
The assembly will take place during the celebration of the 2005 World Artistic championships
Official website that Rome will host from November 17 until November 27.

Catalonia participates in the World Inline Cup

The Catalan Federation of Roller Sports has sent 2 teams to the World Inline Cup which is being held in Michigan (USA).
The teams are coached by David Planes (men) and Jordi Argullos (women).
The Catalan ladies have played 3 games so far and are third in their division, after beating USA 16U girls and Australia by 3-1 and losing to USA 18U by 9-1.

Full stats and standings: Catalan women team

The men team have also played 3 games with 2 defeats to USA 18U minor and USA 18U major by 6-7 and 1-5 respectively, and one draw 4-4 against Australia.

Full stats and standings :
Catalan men team

For more information about this tournament go to World Inline Cup

It is very exciting to see that despite all the difficulties, Catalonia is still represented all over the world. By the way, where is the Spanish team?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The CAS decision can be read online

The CAS has published their decision in the case the Catalonian Federation filed against the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS).
The document is only available in French and can be downloaded at

Happy reading!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Spaniards strike back (III)

The reactions on the Spanish side have been, as usual, very belligerent with the CAS decision.
The Spanish federation of roller sports in an official statement declared: "We respect but disagree with the CAS settlement. We are convinced that the Catalan federation will not be recognised as a full member of the FIRS. The Spanish national team is the only one who has international rights to compete internationally and the only one who will participate in the next World Cup in San Jose. The Catalan federation does not belong to the FIRS since that was the situation prior to the CAS decision."

According to the president of the Spanish federation Carmelo Paniagua, the repetition of the FIRS assembly will not alter the the previous outcome since he believes that the majority of federations agree with the Spanish position.
In the arrogant way that distinguises this individual, Paniagua said: "This is not a victory for the Catalans. This sentence will just prolong the agony of the Catalans as they will not be admited in the next assembly."

Well, I'm afraid this is not for you to decide Mr Paniagua...

Catalan reactions to the CAS' decision

The reactions to the settlement decided by the CAS have been numerous from both sides.
The encouraging resolution of the CAS has been celebrated by the Catalans as a new victory in the struggle to become an independent federation and hence to be able to compete internationally.

Rafel Niubo, Secretary of the Catalan Sports Council, stated yesterday that this is a victory for the Catalan federation: "The score is 2-1 to us now. The game is still on and this resolution give us strength because it shows that legally our dream is possible. The settlement shows that there is no law against the recognition of our federation."
Niubo sent a message to the Spanish Secretary of Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky, when he said: "we want to reach an agreement with the Spanish government. We have to redesign our relations so both national teams can compete internationally in a similar way to Great Britain with England, Scotland and Wales. However, it is not a legal issue anymore. It has now became political issue and it will only be solved with political negotitation. It has been the story of the 3 F's, Fresno, Fiasco and Fraud."

Ramon Basiana, president of the Catalan federation, stated: "we will now request the FIRS to invite us to the next World Cup in San Jose. We will also explain to the members of the FIRS rhe significance of the CAS resolution."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Catalonia will have another chance

The CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) has finally settle the appeal presented by the Catalan Federation of Roller Sports with regards the non-admission of Catalonia as a full member of the FIRS.
The decision of the CAS is to invalidate the resolutions of the FIRS Assembly of Fresno, in which Catalonia membership of the FIRS was taken away.
As we explained earlier on this blog, the chaotic assembly of Fresno was full of irregularities and the Catalans were confident all the evidence they had presented would be enough to invalidate the assembly.
More on the Fresno's assembly:

Fresno's Assembly

The decision of the CAS implies that there will have to be a new Assembly in which the admission of Catalonia will have to be discussed again. The CAS has also emphasized that the voting will have to be secret if at least 2 members of the FIRS ask for it.
In addition the CAS resolution has pointed out that the Catalan federation and their representatives will have the right to speak at the assembly and defend their position. Finally they have urged the FIRS to hold the assembly in less that 9 months from today's date.

The negative aspect of the resolution is the fact that the CAS has not recognised the Catalan federation the right to participate in the next World Cup A that will take place next August in San Jose (California).

Therefore, there we are again. All the Catalan diplomacy will have to start to work together in order to maintain the support we already had and to gain additional support from those countries that were simpathetic with the Catalan situtation.
As the president of the Catalan federation, Ramon Basiana, said minutes after the Fresno's assembly: "We have lost a battle, but there is still a war to be won."

The final!

It is expeceted that the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) will announce sometime this morning the decision about the appeal presented by the Catalan Federation of Roller Sports against the FIRS Congress in which the withdrawn of Catalonia as a full member of the FIRS was decided.
The CAS will inform Jean Louis Dupont, the Catalans' solicitor, whether this decision will have to be reversed or not.

Court of Arbitration for Sport

Fingers crossed...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

More than 30 die in London blasts

A series of bomb attacks on London's transport network has killed more than 30 people and injured about 350 others.
Three explosions on the Underground left 33 dead and an unknown number died in a blast on a double-decker bus.

From catalanhockey we would like to express our most sincere sympathy to the families and victims of those killed or injured and to all Londoners in general.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London will host the 2012 Olympic Games

From Catalanhockey we would like to congratulate London as this city has been chosen to host the 2012 Olympics.
London beat Paris on the last round of the voting, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated.

The Spanish athletes will have to wait. ;-)

Well done London!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Where is the real debate?

After reading some of the comments made on last Sunday's post it is clear the lack of debate existing at this time. Maybe we could all try to be more sensible and defend our ideas without having to attack someone else's. I do agree with some of the comments that some Spaniards cannot defend their legitimate ideas without being abusive and offensive. Many people visiting this blog have given valid argumentations for the admission of Catalonia as a full member of the FIRS. However, I cannot recall any unswerving argument made by any person against the recognition of Catalonia as their opinions seem to be only linked to the political situation and the fact that Catalonia belongs to Spain.

Spanish tactics
The two presidents
Spanish supreme sports council

No sporting issues (the ones that should really prevail) haven been mentioned by those against the recognition of Catalonia. What benefits for the sport of roller hockey would imply the recognition of Catalonia? What detriments and advantages, if any, would that represent for the Spanish federation?

CIRHS views
Oliveras de la Riva
Sport arguments

The real debate is not happening! In fact, there has not been a truthful regular debate since the controversy after the recognition of Catalonia in March 2004. The Spanish argumentation has always been the same. The Catalans are the only ones who have tried to put through coherent points of view and emphasized at all times that the real issue is a sportive and not a political one.

From Catalanhockey@blogspot we welcome the debate. We encourage EVERYONE to give their opinions in a polite and civilised manner although this, some, will never understand.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Catalunya has won the Tarradellas Cup

Catalonia has won the Tarradellas Cup by beating the local team Blanes by 2 to 0 in a very tight match. The first half ended goaless but 15 minutes into the second half Rodri scored the first goal of the match and in the 21st minute Quim Pujades scored the final 2-0.
Therefore, Catalonia has conquered this prestigious friendly tournament for the second year in a row.
Argentina has finished 3rd after defeating the Reno World Stars team by 4 to 3.

Congratulations Catalunya!

Catalunya to play in the final

Catalunya will play the final of the Tarradellas cup against Blanes this Sunday evening at 7pm.
Catalunya beat Argentina by 7 to 6 in the semifinals of this competition. The result is a refletion of an extremely exciting and even game in which the Catalan team has been always ahead. The powerful Argentinean team came back twice and was close to upset the Catalans. Catalunya lead by 4-1 half way through the first half with 2 goals of David Caceres, but the Argentineans levelled the game at half time thanks to the 4 goals of Payero. After the half time break, Catalunya score twice again and put the score 6-4. However, Argentina managed to level again and it wasn't until four minutes before the end that the Catalans scored the definite goal.
Hence, 7 to 6 for Catalonia and
the Catalans in the final once again.

The Catalan team Blanes will face Catalonia in the final after havind defeated the Reno World Stars team in the penalties shotout. The score after the normal time was 2-2.

Hence Reno World Stars will play Argentina for the 3rd and 4th place.

On the other hand Italy has finished the tournament in 5th position after beating Switzerland by 5-2.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

FC BARCELONA wins the OK League

F.C. Barcelona has won the Spanish OK League by beating Reus Deportiu by 5-0 on the fourth game of the series. Barcelona had won the first two home games and Reus won the third game but this morning Barça proved to be the best team in Europe and conquered their 5th trophy of the season.
Barcelona has also won the Intercontinental Cup, the Spanish Supercup, the Spanish Cup and the European League.

Well done Barça!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Catalan team is back

The Catalan national team played two games last weekend in preparation for the Group Tarradellas Cup that will take place during the 31st of June, 1st, 2nd and 3rd of July in Blanes (Catalunya).

On Saturday, Catalonia won the International Tournament Feltor, by beating the local team Sant Celoni by 12 goals to 3. Llaverola, Tibau, Guillen, Torra, Carbó, Rodri, Edu Fernandez, David Caceres and Freixas played for the Catalans.
On Sunday, Catalonia won the II Memorial Beni, by defeating the local team Piera by 7 goals to 1. On this game, the Igualada hockey keeper Oriol Bargallo got his first cap with the national team.

The Group Tarradellas Coup is one of the most important tournaments of the season, and this year the national teams of Argentine, Italy, Switzerland and Catalonia, together with the OK Premiership league team Blanes and the Reno World Stars will compete for this prestigious trohpy.
Catalonia has been drawn in group B together with Switzerland and Blanes. Group A will be formed by Argentine, Italy and Reno World Stars.

It is worth mentioning that the Spanish national team was also invited to participate in the Tarradellas Cup but refused to take part in this tournament.

We wonder why...

More info at:

Sunday, June 12, 2005

New FIRS website

The FIRS has finally set up a new website much better and comprehensive than it was before, and that we celebrate.
However, the retaliation against the Catalan Federation from the new President Sabatino Aracu, didn't stop at the shameful Congress in Fresno. The information about the Catalan federation, that appeared in the FIRS website prior to the update, has been taken off and the details no longer appear in the website.

New FIRS website
Interesting to see that other federations of countries without a state such as Scotland or Macau have not been removed and still appear in the website.

More about Sabatino Aracu: The infamous Sabatino Aracu

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The conclusion in two months

This is the time expected for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to resolve on the appeal presented by the Catalan Federation after the oral hearing that took place yesterday in Lausanne (Switzerland).
For more than 6 hours the two parts involved, Catalan federation and FIRS, presented their conclusions and witnesses.
Due to a clause of confidentiality, hardly any details of the hearing have been made public, but the Catalan representatives admitted they were quite happy with the developments of the hearing.
Ramon Basiana, President of the Catalan Federation, Ignasi Donate, director of the Catalan Council of Sport and Jean-Louis Dupont the prestigious belgian lawyer, were the representatives of the Catalan cause. On the other hand, the FIRS was represented by the General Secretary, Roberto Marotta and their lawyer, the Italian Francesco Malatesta.

It is known, that the Catalans presented four witnesses: the formers president and vice-president of the FIRS, Isidre Oliveras de la Riva and Ernesto Gonzalez Molina respectively, and two Mexican directors, the vice-president of the American Confederation, Minu Cortes and the president of the Mexican Federation of Roller Sports, Juan Carlos Hernandez.
Two more witnesses had been summoned, the vice-director of the Spanish Council of Sport, Jose Luis Aguado and the actual president of the FIRS, but none of them turned up for the hearing.

It must be remembered that the two Mexican witnesses demanded without success the secret vote on the last FIRS general Assembly in Fresno, hence their presence as witnesses on the Catalan side.
Apparently, the arguments of the FIRS were mainly based on the results of the voting held in Fresno, in which Catalonia was clearly refused as full member of the FIRS. According to the FIRS, the overwhelming difference in votes proves the position of the majority of members of the FIRS.
Conversely, the Catalans believe that the value of democracy is not the quantity of votes but the quality of the electoral process, and this process was not fair because some members requested a secret voting and this was denied, which according to the Catalan representatives, would invalidate the whole process.

The Catalans have praised the professionality of the three members of the Tribunal and have confirmed that they will respect whichever decision they take.

Justice will be done!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Possible scenarios

There are three possible scenarions of the final resolution that the TAS will announce today.

1st Reject the Catalan appeal.
2nd Accept the Catalan appeal and force the FIRS to re-admit the Catalan national team as full member of the International Federation.
3rd Oblige the FIRS to repeat the Assembly held in Fresno.

In case of a positive resolution for the Catalan appeal the most probably scenario would be the 3rd one. However, this would imply that the Catalan federation will become again a provisional member of the FIRS as it was before Fresno's assembly.
Since the next FIRS congress has not been scheduled until 2007, surely that would imply that, if the FIRS doesn't decide to have an extraordinary congress, Catalonia would be in a position of demand to participate in the next World Cup to be held next August in San Jose.
Hence, Catalonia would play in group A together with Portugal, Angola and Chile, and Macau who took the place of Catalonia. will not be allowed to play.

Very exciting isn't it? Let's wait and see....

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The CAS will announce their decision this month

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced that on the 27th of May, there will be an audience between them, the Catalan Federation of Roller Hockey and the FIRS, to discuss the appeal presented by the Catalans against the decision of the FIRS to overturn the recognition of the Catalan Federation as full members of the FIRS.
After listening to both parts, the CAS will analyze all the documentation and will fail for or against the appeal presented by the Catalans' lawyer Jean Louis Dupont.
The resolution of the (in)famous FIRS assembly held in Fresno
FIRS assembly minute by minute updates
kathie Fries Skatelogcom report

was against the hopes of the Catalans, but the whole assembly was a fiasco and suspicious of being influenced by political pressures, some of which have been proved to be true.
Colombian member
Mexican member
The plot reveals

The Catalan federation believe that, considering the precedents and resolutions to past appeals, there should be a final resolution before July, as most members will be on holiday after that month, and then the resolution couldn't be give until September.

The main points of the Catalan appeal were based on the violation of the FIRS statutes by the Central Committee who after accepting the appeal of Catalonia, did not allow any of the Catalan representatives to be heard during the following day Congress, and the decision to have an open vote when according to the FIRS statutes there is enough with the request of a full member -there were three- for the voting to be secret.
In addition the appeal elaborated by Dupont has also make clear - and has presented testimonial proof of the political pressures against some members of the FIRS that allegedly influenced the voting.

Both Ramon Basiana, president of the Catalan federation, and Jean-Louis Dupont will be present at the audience with the CAS and it is not discarded that one of the witnesses of the Catalans will also be present.
The conditions of the process have not been made public because there is a strict clause of confidentiality.
However, a very interesting fact is that the court will be formed by three members chosen of among the 274 that form CAS. The first member is chosen by the CAS. The other two members are chosen by the two parts. This selection is usually made depending on the theoretical ideological or conceptual proximity of the lawyer with the posture of each part.
In this sense, it is necessary to remember the selection of the FIRS was made before the elections of the 12th February. Hence, officially the member of the court would have not been not chosen by the Italian Sabattino Aracu, the new president and great defender of the interests of the Spaniards, but by Francisco González, the Argentinian vice-president, who was an intimate friend of the former president Isidro Oliveras de la Riva, and allegedly, favourable to the admission of the Catalans.

Very exciting indeed!

We are back in business

Yes, after a long long time, we are finally back in business.
Due to some technical and logistical problems, I haven't been able to update the website with new information. Unfortunately, not much has happened over the last two months but it looks like some exciting news might be on their way, and from catalanhockey we will keep you updated with the last minute information.
So, if you have been loyal to us, thank you for coming back. If you are new, please be welcomed!


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Reactions to the new rules tested in Catalonia

Since my last post in which I exposed the new rules tested in the game between Catalonia and the Reno All Stars team (New rules tested), many roller hockey fans and amateur and professional players have expressed their opinion about these variations.
Here is a summary of their opinions:

-David Busquets (Igualada, Catalonia) : "I liked the new rules. I really enjoyed the game as it has been a very lively match with loads of opportunities to score. The new rules help the attacking game and this is always good for any sport."

-Oriol Bargallo (Igualada,Catalonia) : "Talking about the new goals, I don't think the problem is about the quantity of goals that are being scored at the moment. To me is more about making the game more exciting and spectacular. I think most goalies would find difficult to get used to the new goals. It would be harder to stop the high shots and balls to the top corners."

-James Taylor (UK, Bassano) : "One rule that I took to alot was the bigger goals,it created more goals and made the game more exciting. The players didnt take full advantage of the goals however because we were not used to them but if we had of just imagine how many more goals there would have been as it finished at 13-9 . I didnt like the direct free hit rule where if you made 5 fouls it was a direct free hit because I like to play my game hard and it wasnt possible with this rule. As for the anti dew being the half way line I dont think it made any diffrence, and the referees on skates just looked stupid, they found it hard to turn and keeo up as they werent at the same level of skating which is understandable."

-Boris Tarassioux ( : "I think the referees wearing skates makes them lose in speed and placement. The size of the goals it definetely means more goals. I think a lot because the placement of goalkeeper is not perfect. But certainly a good idea, if we can try this not just in one game but on a yaer championship to see all consequences of the rule. The antiplay line being at 20 metres (normally it is at 22m), I think in a little rink, it is a bad solution. From the 5th foul of each team each foul was awarded with a direct free hit.Good rule but direct free hit is done two with antiplay line, ball out of rink. So this was ridiculous. Also, when James Taylor came in he immediatly did a foul which gave a direct free hit."

An online discussion is going on at:

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Hockey Champions League results

3 Catalan teams are participating in the Champions League that just started yesterday.
Igualada, Reus and FC Barcelona played their first games of the competition against Uttingen, Barcelos and Olivereinse respectively.
Igualada had an easy game and crashed the Swiss team by 7-0; Reus beat the Portuguese team Barcelos by 2-0 and FC Barcelona surprisingly lose at home against the also Portuguese Olivereinse by 2 goals to 3.

UTTIGEN 0. Stephan Pauli, Reto Beer, Simon Grossen, Cristoph Gurtner, Marcel Althaus, equip inicial. Philipp Mühle, Andreas Münger
HORMIPRESA IGUALADA 7. Bargalló. Càceres, Busquets, Cabestany (2), Edu (2), equip inicial. Torras (1), Montferri, Raventós, Hinojal (1).
0-1 Cabestany m. 6
0-2 Edu m. 7
0-3 Edu m. 15
0-4 Torras m 24'59
0-5 Raventós m. 38
0-6 Cabestany m. 43

0-7 Freddy Hinojal m 49.

FC BARCELONA EXCELENT, 2. Egurrola, JL Páez, D. Páez, Borregán,C. López , Benito, Panadero, Masoliver
OLIVEIRENSE, 3. Silva, Resendes, Didi, To Neves,Magro, Pedro Lopes, Fernandes

1-0 David Páez 8'

2-0 Borregán 33'
2-1 Resendes 38'
2-2 To Neves 44'
2-3 Didí 48'

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Interview with Josep Vigueras, MD of Reno

Our friends of Igualada weblog ( published an interview with Josep Vigueras, Managing Director of the worldwide known hockey manufacturers Reno.
This is a translation of the interview:

Josep, where did the idea of organising this event come from?
From July 2004 Reno has been sponsoring FC Barcelona and one of the clausules in the contract allow us to use the Palau Blaugrana for one day a year. We had been wanting to organise something with the Catalan federation for a while, but couldn't find a suitable date. Last July I spoke to Ramon Basiana, president of the Catalan federation and told him that I'd like Catalonia to play the Reno World Stars as a testimonial for the players who won the B World Cup in Macau. Basiana agreed and from Reno we started working to get the best team of the world.

And after that, the shame of Fresno took place.
Yes, but we had decided that whatever the outcome of Fresno was we would play the game. And after the events in Fresno we thought that "now more than ever" we had to carry on and support the Catalan hockey.

The truth is that Josep Vigueras and Reno have been brave and showed their support to the Catalan national team.
Yes. We will do what we can to support the Catalan federation. I believe that the recognition of Catalonia would be very good for both the Spanish and the international hockey. I truly think that the hockey in Spain would grow a lot if Catalonia has its own national team, as the Spaniards would have to invest in the sport more than are doing now.

Besides the emotional aspect for the Catalans, the game against the Reno World Stars was planned to be a good spectacle, wasn't it?
We are convinced that hockey can improve with the introducion of new rules, such as bigger goals, referees wearing skates (to increase their speed and mobility and maybe having only one referee), and free hits from the 5th team foul. We would like scores such as 15 to 14. We want a good show. I have been a hockey player myself and I got very upset when last weekend in a big game Barca v Liceo the Palau was half empty. We want the fans to go back the the rinks!

What are your previsions for tonight's game?
We think it will be a full house. With four or 5 thousand people we would be more than happy but we might have to close doors when the demonstrations finishes. The events will start at half two in the afternoon with competitions for kids, girls game, speed shows, free hits etc.
As I said before we want spectacle in the world of roller hockey.

Last question. Is this a one off thing or you are thinking about making it permanent?
We would like to organise it every year. What we haven't decided is whether it will be always in Barcelona or we could hold it in different cities or towns or maybe doing it more than once every year and in different places.
All we want is to promote hockey.

Very interesting interview. From catalanhockey we thanks Mr Vigueras and encourage him to keep up the good work.


Sunday, January 02, 2005

More reactions from Macau

If someone got really benefited from the FIRS decision not to admit Catalonia into its ranks as a national team, this was Macau.
Macau, who finished 4th in the last B World Cup, will participate in the next World Cup to be held in San Jose in 2005, taking the place that Catalonia deservedly won on the rink.
However, from Macau they keep attacking the Catalans as if they weren't happy enough with the results of the FIRS congress in Fresno.
Hence, the first online newspaper in Macau, accuses the Catalan government of conspiring in the last World Cup, only because some members of the Catalan government decided to take half a day off on their official trip to China to attend the final of the World Cup in which Catalonia beat England by 6 goals to 0.

The full article can be found at: