Am Vorabend trudelte ein anonymes E-Mail zum Thema ein, welches den EFAF-Präsidenten aufgrund seines Inhalts zu einer Antwort hinriss.

In Italien geht es rund. Ein neuer ‚Verband‘ wurde gegründet, der alte scheint völlig pleite zu sein. hat berichtet (siehe Links).

Dringliche Sitzung in der Schweiz
Wegen der aus den Turbulenzen resultierenden Absage der B-EM hat die EFAF eine Sitzung in Zürich einberufen. Sie konnte sich in den letzten Wochen kein umfassendes Bild über die Zustände am Stiefel machen. Wer ist der Verband? Die FIAF? Die FIDAF? Beide? Keiner mehr?

Es geht auch darum, ob Bergamo in der Eurobowl und Parma im EFAF-Cup überhaupt spielberechtigt sind. Die beiden Vereine sind Mitglieder der FIDAF, die ist allerdings nicht Mitglied der EFAF. Eigentlich ist dahingehend die Situation bereits klar. Die EFAF will jetzt wissen, was sie selbst unternehmen wird.

Anonymes Angebot eines Insiders
Am heutigen Vorabend zur Sitzung schickte eine gewisse ‚Football Truth Crew‘ eine E-Mail an ganz Football-Europa. An Verbände, Vereine und Medien. Das Mail soll als Angebot verstanden werden, um sich einen Überblick über die Situation in Italien machen zu können.

Antwort der EFAF
Der EFAF-Präsident Robert Huber antwortete auf das E-Mail an alle Adressen der Empfängerliste, die von der Football Truth Crew, anders wie ihre eigene Identität, nicht versteckt wurden. Darin stellte der Deutsche fest, dass offensichtlich jemand daran interessiert ist, die morgige EFAF-Sitzung zu beeinflussen und bat, diese E-Mail nicht weiterzuleiten. Die EFAF würde nach der Sitzung eine offizielles Statement zur Italien-Situation abgeben.

Das Mail selbst will objektiv sein und käme ohne Kommentar aus. Woran sich der oder die Verfasser lange halten. Am Ende kommt aber hervor, dass es sich um jemanden handeln muss, der dem alten Verband nahe steht, oder zumindest diesen wieder inthronisieren möchte. Die Inhalte sind durchaus interessant und brisant, werden Vorgänge in Italien der letzten Jahre darin beleuchtet. Für die Objektivität und Sachlichkeit der Aussagen können wir keine Garantie übernehmen. Fest steht allerdings, dass der oder diejenigen über ein enormes Insider-Wissen verfügen.
Mail der Football Truth Crew

Dear friends in sport,

this e-mail’s goal is to offer an overview about the situation of american football in Italy at the eve of the EFAF BoD meeting on February 16th.

All the events are reported without any personal comment and you can immediately check it with the people you’ll meet in Zurich.

Month after month bad words and lies grew up in order to obtain some credit to spend in front of the European Federation, but we do not like this "war behaviour" from both parties involved, so we are here to tell you the whole story about last ten years of American Football in Italy.

This e-mail will be sent and forwarded to many addresses because our mission is to inform as many persons as possible so everybody knows what happened in a country who’s always been part of european football. It also wants to be a warning to everybody to avoid all the mistakes made in our country.

As you should know, the recognized member for Italy is FIAF, but in the few past year all the football stuff has been managed by an organization named NFLI. Why that?

Following the death of FIAF president Lucio Zanetti in 1998, current president Giovanni Cantù was elected, and he found a Federation with many big holes in financial accounts, mainly caused by a huge debt with the CONI (The Olympic Commettee).

FIAF refused to pay those debts and was sued by CONI and the family of the last president, claiming money for approximately 400.000 Euros. CONI revoked recognition to FIAF in 2000, and FIAF continued to organize football outside the Olympic Committee. In 2002, following the lawsuits, all FIAF accounts were frozen, and the affiliated teams received a letter of warning from lawyers stating that every money paid to FIAF for whatever reason (league fees, license fees, etc.) should have been paid to their account, otherwise should have been confiscated.

With FIAF completely paralyzed and unable to run any sort of league, Cantù, Mario Rende (Bergamo Lions president) and a few others formed NFLI, a no-profit association whos aim was to run the football operations instead of FIAF. FIAF BoD transferred any sports activity to NFLI in order to continue to play football without the risk to see its money confiscated.

The NFLI acted like a federation for the first few years, and italian football knew an unexpected growth, quickly doubling the number of teams, licensed players, youth programs, expressing one of the most powerful teams in european history (Bergamo Lions) and many other european contenders (Bolzano, Ancona, Bologna), and fielding again a National Team in 2003 for the first time since 1999 World Cup.

In the meantime a few sicilian teams formed FIDAF, with the aim to immediately reenter in CONI. FIDAF looked for an official recognition in Europe but, as you may remember, EFAF refused it, and this was the main reason for most FIDAF teams to go back to NFLI. FIDAF had life for 18 month.

NFLI was run like a federation, we told before, but the "head" was formed by power teams like Bergamo, Bolzano and Ancona, who always made rules fitting their needs, and the other teams decided tu put an end to this way of acting. Last year mostly of the top Serie A teams, backed up by NFLI and Cantù, decided to reduce the number of import players in the Serie A League, causing an immediate reaction from Bergamo and Ancona.

Right after the 2007 Superbowl, Mario Rende and Gianluigi Luchena (Ancona Dolphins president) decided to form IFL, an independent league, opting out from NFLI.

In the meantime a group of other teams, not happy with the way NFLI managed football, decided to either transform NFLI in a real Federation or form a new one.

Despite the previously made promises, IFL went straight ahead for its road, in fact breaking the italian football movement in two parts: the six IFL founders and the other 55 teams.

Talking with CONI, the FIDAF option resurfaced as a possibility to create a real federation able to obtain CONI recognition very quickly. FIDAF offered to give all the empty structure to italian teams who would have provided to fill it with regular elections.

Again, despite those promises, FIDAF made a deal with IFL, who was desperately in need to find a suitbale organisation to show in Europe, making IFL their Top League.

Of all the other teams, a few opted to enter FIDAF, and the others (about 40 teams) stuck with their original plan: play this last championship with NFLI the create a new Federation. This is the program for FIF, who will see the light in the next weeks, as far as we know.

Because of all this mess, Italy lost the organization of B-Group European Championship in 2008 and, in our opinion, should also lose the participation of any italian team to european tournaments in 2008.

Allowing Bergamo and Parma to play in Eurobowl would not only require to break any written rule about european recognition and rights to participate in european competition, but it would also be a huge fall of style by EFAF and, most important, very disrespectful to all the people in Europe working hard to stay in the rules and follow the right path.

We are confident the EFAF BoD will take the most appropriate decision about Italy.

Yours in sport,

The Football Truth Crew

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