Athletics, no to the World Championships in Rome 2027. Mei: “What a figure”. Abodi: “Inadequate languages”

Back and forth between President Fidal and the minister after the withdrawal of Rome’s candidacy


March 1 – 08:08 – MILAN

Rome’s candidacy for the 2027 World Athletics Championships, the request for economic guarantees from the Government, the controversies, the withdrawal of the same candidacy on the day of the choice of World Athletics, other controversies. All in a few hours. On the one hand, the president of Fidal, Stefano Mei. On the other, the Minister of Sport, Andrea Abodi. An unexpected “duel”, livened up in tone. “Italy made a bad impression on a world level, I’m sorry for athletics who don’t deserve this, I’m sorry for the boys – said the number 1 of the Italian athletics yesterday -, but I stuck to what suggested and advised by the minister, the times were dictated by him, my problem was to arrive with a letter of guarantee before World Athletics. The reconstruction made by Abodi is imaginative, things went differently. The minister knew of the possibility of running already in August. It was he who entrusted us to an advisor who had already prepared the study at the beginning of January. He gave us an appointment on January 24th when we delivered the documentation indicating the 85 million euros. On February 8th we presented the project to the MEF and to Minister Giorgetti who had defined the event as “beautiful”. I’m sorry, even CONI was confident”.

“With education”

Abodi yesterday tried to avoid the back and forth with Mei. Then, late in the evening, upon yet another request for a reply, she decided to speak. “With politeness,” she quickly emphasized. “On the other hand, we are still working for the European Championships in June, through Sport and Health, to guarantee a quality event and an economic result with limited losses. If there had been a more respectful attitude to the procedures, times and problems that is facing the Government in the general interest, perhaps we would have had some more opportunities to compete with Beijing which, moreover, had a budget 40% higher than Rome. I would also have liked to return to the Olympic Stadium in Rome for the World Cup, as I did in 1987, but with claims and inadequate language we aren’t going anywhere.”


Abodi would have appreciated spotlights if not turned off, at low lights. But, in the end, this story convinced him to take action to avoid similar situations in the future. “I have finished preparing a proposed rule to regulate candidacies for major international events for which financial resources are requested from the Government – his words -. This experience must be useful for future opportunities, because we want major sporting events in Italy to everything they can give, but it must be discussed first and according to a protocol that applies to everyone. Those who do not need public resources will be free to do, in compliance with the laws, what they deem most appropriate”.