PtG Article 31.01.2007

Fallen Italian football president can continue in the IOC

For Franco Carraro, 2006 was a rollercoaster. He resigned as president of the Italian Football Federation because of the match fixing scandal in Italian football last summer. Then Carraro , an IOC member and member of UEFA and FIFA. was banned from sport leadership for 4.5 years. But appeal after appeal diminished the punishment and now the IOC Ethics Commission has also given him a clean bill of health.

After reviewing all judgements and appeals on Carraro's case, the IOC Ethics Commission said in a decision from December 2006 that it had "no recommendation to make to the IOC Ethics Board." Which basically means that the commission did not recommend any form of punishment.

So the chairman of the IOC's Olympic Programme Commission can breathe a sigh of relief after balancing periliously close to the edge for eight months.

Four and a half year ban reduced to nothing on appeal

It certainly did not look good for Carraro in July last year where the tribunal set up by the Italian Football Federation to judge in the big match fixing scandal banned Carraro from exercising any kind of sporting responsibility for four and half years.

The tribunal found him guilty of "acting with a view to altering the results of a match", and the verdict was a severe blow to a man that has been a sports administrator since the early 1960's and has held many national and international posts.

Carraro immediately appealed the ban to the Italian Football Federation's appeals arbitration body which altered the decision to a warning and a fine of 80,000 euros for failing to conduct himself "in accordance with the principles of honesty, fair play and moral integrity in all relations in any way connected with sports."

Carraro was not happy with this decision either and appealed again - this time to the conciliation and arbitration body of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). CONI felt that it had no jurisdiction to do anything about the fine but issued a decision which said that the conduct of Franco Carraro "fell within int he complete politico-administrative discretion of the Federal chairman."

CONI then declared that the warning lacked an adequate legal basis and annulled it.

So Carraro was left with a fine and case pending at the IOC Ethics Commission.

The latter was resolved in December last year whereas Carraro is still struggling to get rid of the 80,000 euro fine and plans an appeal to the Regional Administrative Court of Latium arguing that the fine lacks legal foundation.

Support from Blatter throughout

Throughout his trials, Franco Carraro has received support from Sepp Blatter - the president of FIFA. At a press conference in ZŸrich in May last year, Blatter told a group of journalists that Franco Carraro had asked FIFA whether he should step down from his UEFA and FIFA committees following the disclosures in Italy.

"But we told him he should continue to exercise his offices in these cases," said Blatter.

Just as Carraro will continue to exercise his office in the IOC.