Silvio, today I just call to talk about the exclusion of Nunes – Fantoni from the National Italian Team for the next European Bridge Championships that will be held in Ostend. The lineup is selected by the Tecnical Director, Maria Teresa Lavazza, by common consent with the Federation.
The pairs Bocch–Madala and Duboin–Sementa are Lavazza Team players, whereas Versace-Lauria and Nunes-Fantoni are Angelini Team players. We can say that TD clearly preferred her own players at the expence of roman team: is it correct?
Of course. Anyway there is a tecnical motivation. Probably CT wants to test the new pair Bocchi-Madala in a championship considerated less important than others. The same happened in the past with the famous Blue Team. When Blue Team won everything, in the European Championships played second class players, i mean the second team. Big champions were riserved for competitions considered more prestogious. Now the European Championships can be considered an opportunity to test players ‘on the bench’. I think this can be the only justification for the exclusion of Nunes – Fantoni.
Nunes-Fantoni exclusion aroused many negative reactions between bridge’s folks…
It is easily understandable. Fulvio Fantoni is a very popular champion, he has a lot of personal fans that now are furious. Fulvio is a gentleman, a really sympathy champion and a glamour boy. In addition, they are respectively the number two and one in the official world ranking and during the last played competitions they did the best scores. Definitely they don’t deserve this treatment that people can judge an ‘abuse of power’.
Shoud the decision of TD create disaffection towards National Team?
Absolutey not towards National Italian Team that people always follow with great love, maybe towards the Italian Federation and TD.
What’s your own reaction?
Well, i’m embittered too.
And what’s the Team Angelini patron’s reaction?
I know he’s very annoyed too.
And which repercussions can this ‘sensational’ decision generate by the side of Angelini Team?
National Team is determined by TD. Look at Italian football: if Mister Marcello Lippi doesn’t call Cassano, there are of course negative reactions betwen folks but nobody can change TD’s decisions. Maria Teresa Lavazza decision can be considered unpopular but courageous. TD takes charge of her own chooses. Quite obviously when you do such things, i mean striking out the numbers one and two of the world ranking, you take your risk: if results will be no good, TD has to present her resigantion.
What does it mean ‘no good’, i mean which result can induce TD to present her resignation?
If Italy will not arrive at least in the third place, it will be a negative result: if Italy will not be qualified for World Championships, it will be an absolute collapse.
And now, what’s about Bocchi-Madata, pair preferred to Nunes-Fantoni?
Bocchi and Madala are two players of Lavazza Team, but they aren’t a very close couple: they have been playing together for two years only. Bocchi is a great players but lately ‘far from ground’. Madala is a young excepionally gifted player, of Argentinean origin. In Bridge becoming a pair takes many years. The Championships will be played by Duboin-Sementa and Lauria-Versace. And they will win.
After this inteview, we received many requests of explanation. So Silvio Sbarigia decided to answer himself to readers’ questions.