06.05.2024 20:24 h

Serie A blasts plans for government football finance body

Andrea Abodi
Andrea Abodi

Serie A on Monday blasted Italian government plans to create a finance regulatory authority for professional sports clubs which would supplant an existing body within the country's football federation.

Italy's top football division joined the football federation (FIGC) and Olympic Committee (CONI), the country's highest sporting authority, in criticising sport minister Andrea Abodi's proposal.

After a meeting held on Monday, Serie A clubs "expressed unanimously their opposition to the proposed creation of a governmental regulatory authority which would oversee the finances of professional sporting clubs".

"We insist that the organisation of sport remain independent of politics," added Serie A.

Italy's basketball federation (FIP) and top division, also called Serie A, said they were "completely astonished" at the move, of which they had been kept "completely in the dark".

Professional football's finances are currently overseen by the FIGC's supervisory commission COVISOC which was involved in uncovering a transfer scandal that led to Juventus being deducted 10 points last season.

"This project is disrespectful towards our authorities," said FIGC chief Gabriele Gravina on Monday.

After a meeting later on Monday the FIGC said that Gravina "will ask the minister Abodi to schedule an urgent debate together with the president of CONI".

The FIGC added that during Monday's meeting "a number of issues were found" in the government's draft proposal.

Abodi insisted on Monday that the new body would not get involved granting teams permission to participate in league championships, saying that "this will remain in the hands of the FIGC".

However, government interference in football regulation will also attract attention for European and global governing bodies UEFA and FIFA.

Last month, UEFA and FIA issued a statement expressing "great concern" at the Spanish government deciding to create a commission to "oversee" the country's scandal-hit football federation (RFEF).

FIFA suspended Zimbabwe and Kenya's memberships over government interference in 2022, subsequently lifting the bans.