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!