Crisis-ridden Italian FA fails to elect president

first_imgTommasi finished bottom in the second and third rounds so could no longer win, with a fourth ballot requiring a simple majority to win.In the final round Gravina received 39.06 percent of the vote, Sibilia 1.85 percent, with 59.09 percent blank ballots.The failure to elect a president will almost certainly mean that the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) will take control of the FIGC.CONI president Giovanni Malago had asked again on Saturday for the vote to be postponed, after previously saying that the vote should be held back for three months in order to allow Serie A to elect its president.“The assembly failed to produce a result and we have to restart from zero,” said Pasquale de Lise, who presided over the meeting. “We spent a beautiful day together.”This “beautiful day” which started with a standing ovation for previous president Carlo Tavecchio, who was forced to resign after Italy’s World Cup qualifying fiasco, was in fact one of absolute confusion, with negotiations in the elevators and toilets, as watching Italian journalists muttered “what a show…”The four-time world champions’ shock elimination in a play-off against Sweden had led to demands for a revolution in Italian football from grassroots level.But this was not the message which emerged during the campaign, mostly centred on the question of candidatures and possible alliances, and which left very little room for programmes and proposals.For many observers Monday’s fiasco was predictable. Gravinia, 64, and Sibilia, 58, the two candidates who weighed the heaviest in terms of votes in the election, were faced with the inflexibility of the younger Tommasi, a 43-year-old former Roma and Italy player, who refused any alliance.The state of Italian elite football is now worrying, as shown by the inability of clubs to agree on a name for the presidency of the League and the difficulty of selling TV rights for Serie A.Italian football is without a president for both the FIGC and top division Serie A and has no national team coach, following Gian Piero Ventura’s dismissal post-World Cup failure.A budget of five million euros ($6.2m) has been voted by the FIGC in the hope of attracting a big name coach with possible candidates touted including Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Claudio Ranieri and Roberto Mancini.The new coach will not be in place before Italy play their first matches since their elimination, friendlies against England and Argentina in March with Under-21 coach Luigi Di Biagio stepping in on an interim basis.But Italy should have a new coach before they start the UEFA Nations League in September.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000From L:The three candidates to the presidency of the Italian Football Federation Damiano Tommasi, Cosimo Sibilia and Gabriele Gravina attend a meeting in Rome on January 29, 2018 © AFP / Andreas SOLAROFIUMICINO, Italy, Jan 29 – The Italian football federation (FIGC) sank further into crisis on Monday after failing to elect a new president, two-and-a-half months after the national team crashed out of the World Cup.After four rounds of voting amid chaotic scenes at a general meeting held in Fiumicino near Rome, none of the three candidates — the president of the Amateur League (LND) Cosimo Sibilia, the president of the third-tier Lega Pro division Gabriele Gravina and the head of the professional players’ union (AIC) Damiano Tommasi — managed to obtain a majority.last_img read more

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No free lunch

first_imgIt’s hard to know what’s worse – that hundreds of thousands of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches don’t get them, or that tens of thousands who do get them shouldn’t. While 74 percent of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s 700,000 students could be eligible for subsidized meals for low-income students, only 37percent of those in middle schools and high schools participate. The district receives between $2.07 and $2.47 for each subsidized meal served. But since only about half of the 500,000 students who qualify participate, that amounts to a loss of $100 million a year – funds that could be staving off hunger and providing the basic nutrition that schooling demands. Meanwhile, a recent federal report finds that slightly more than one in five students who received a subsidized lunch last year weren’t, in fact, eligible for the benefit. Nationwide, that fraud amounts to a $935million hit, at least. Compounding the problem is that the federal government uses the number of students receiving subsidized meals to determine how much special funding districts can get for everything from books to teachers. That gives schools little incentive to crack down on fraud. So when school districts such as the LAUSD have needy kids not getting their aid, the districts themselves will lose valuable funding. Meanwhile, wealthier districts stand to get more than they deserve through fraud. The problem is double-edged: To qualify for the meals, parents must fill out forms documenting their income. Some eligible families are too proud, or too uninformed, to do so, and don’t. And some shameless families that don’t need the help take advantage of loopholes and lax enforcement to get a “free” lunch. Under federal law, school districts must verify income levels for only 3percent of the program’s enrollees. For the LAUSD, that means checking up on some 8,000 students – out of roughly a quarter-million each year. Even when families are caught taking advantage of the system, there is no serious consequence. In the LAUSD, they’re no longer allowed to keep getting free or reduced-price meals, but that’s all. There are no easy answers to this problem. The LAUSD is looking at ways to protect the identity of kids getting subsidized meals, so as to reduce the social stigma and encourage more to participate. But it’s hard to know whether that would make a difference – other districts don’t seem to have the same problem with getting their kids to participate. Meanwhile, tougher enforcement measures could help deter fraud, but can also have the effect of deterring eligible families from applying. Still, the amount of money wasted – and the vast extent of needs left unmet – bespeak a compelling need for reform.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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