I have carefully red the interview released by Mrs. Lavazza. I feel a deep grief for what she has said, which, in my opinion, projects her own sentiments towards me.I can not explain this strong resentment and can only say that I respect her as a woman and in healthy athletic competition, I consider that is a worthy opponent to beat in bridge, as has almost always happened.
If we enter into the matter of our open team, I must admit I feel great sadness because it is absurd and unacceptable that Mrs. Lavazza can simultaneously be one of the three major Italian sponsors, and, as she admitted in the interview released to you, coach of the national team.
The choice of pairs called up to represent Italy is a very important step, not so much from the point of economic interests, but for that sense of justice. It matters to all those who, after many sacrifices, realize the dream of being called to represent their country in international competitions.
I think it right and proper to continue my `battle‘ that I carry for some years, to avoid that the coach of the national team – I mean the one who, as at present, calls up the players by assessing absolute discretion – may also be the `owner/ sponsor` of a club bridge players, whether it is Mrs. Lavazza or any other person. It is as if the owner of football club Barcelona is also the coach of the Spanish national team. It seems to me honestly absurd.
As many of your readers know, I am a businessman: I can assure you that one of the core values in my companies is meritocracy. This depends on the conviction, today mine but first of my father and my grandfather, that the success of a business enterprise is closely connected with the capacity that it has to bring out the best professionals through a healthy democratic competition.
I have no hatred towards Mrs. Lavazza and I sincerely hope – although I am not too much convinced – the same applies for her to me. But I can not accept that we cannot manage with a little ‘good will’, to create new rules for selecting the national team players. Rules inspired by principles that emphasize exclusively the values and sporting merits, leaving aside any interference, – even in good faith – by people who are in obvious conflict of interest.
Regarding my very excruciating decision to leave our national team at Pau during the European championships, I can assure you that it was the reaction to a series of behaviors and circumstances that, in spite of myself, I suffered . As time elapsed I do not want to talk on this, even and especially not to fall into sterile polemics that distract me from my only goal that is – I repeat – to contribute to obtain, also in Italy, a more right game of bridge for everyone.‘‘
Laura Camponeschi for BridgeTopics.com
October 28, 2010