Affaire Fantunes: Sbarigia answers readers questions (first part)

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After the last interview concerning the exclusion of Nunes-Fantoni from the National Team, many requests of explanation and deepening reached our editing. Therefore I ask you to directly answer our readers. I am glad.

Well Silivo let’s start with criticism: some readers think your words are defending the decision of the Federation and of the Team Manager Maria Teresa Lavazza. That is they say you have been too “soft” with the Team Manager.

I have not; but formally talking a decision of the TM cannot be argued. The TM decides and is responsible of the consequences of her own role. The TM cannot be prevented from doing her duty.

Lack of explanation is exactly what our readers complain to the TM.

Look, I think the publication of the team should go with an announcement justifying the reason of the choice. Anyway I state the TM is not supposed to justify anything and her task is simply to choose the members of the team. I understand that keeping Nunes-Fantoni out is not easy.

Even though the TM doesn’t have to justify, at least she should explain the reason of her choice.

I think this excellent exclusion might be misunderstood by public opinion. The surprise effect has worked. The TM should have explained her purpose. As far as I am concerned I think they should have issued an official document explaining the intention to test a new couple considering that the European Championships will be a good text.

Do you agree with the misunderstanding referred by our readers?
Sure. A better communication would have avoided certain exagerated reactions. Under the comunicative level things be dealt better.

Is there the risk that things might be different from our hopes?

There is always a risk and the TM decided to face it. If things should go wrong and I don’t think so and nobody does, well the TM will consequently act.

Some readers want you deeply talk about pair Bocchi -Madala.

Well,  Bocchi and Madala are very skilled players and fit for the games. My doubts are on the couple since I think two years are not enough to consider the couple completely tested. Beside the young Madala has less experience in international competitions than others. I mean my doubts are on the couple and not on the ability of each player. I know Norberto Bocchi very well, we are friends. I’m not supposed to mention the famous palmares. Anyway after the working and winning pair Duboin – Bocchi  has been unleashed, Bocchi nedeed a long time to find a worthy regular pertner. But this doesn’t contraddict his value. This is bridge: when a player stops playing with the partner he played with for 20 years it is not easy to find a new partner for neither of them. Now Bocchi has been playing with the very young Madala for a couple of years and the Team Manager of course wants to test if the couple works. You know Bocchi is not supposed to show anything to anybody but Madala is very young and must experience a lot .I insist on telling that I have doubts on the couple not on the single players.

The couple Bocchi – Madala was not disputed, at least from my readers. What many people do not digest is the exclusion of Fantoni and Nunes. Someone has wrtitten that Team Manager had to take out Versace – Lauria if she wanted to do a real test.

This is impossible, the couple Lauria – Versace, in my opinion, is immovable.

Another question: do you think we will qualify for the World Championships?


After the qualification issue, the question many people ask is: what will Team Manager do for the World Championship? I mean: who assures us that Fantoni and Nunes will be considered for the World Cup? If Bocchi-Madala will show to be a winning pair, would then be a sort of ‘impeachment’?

Don’t having up Fantoni – Nunes for World Cup would be a suicide. I mean, unless the TM would not see by the pair Bocchi – Madala something absolutely transcendent or extraordinary, shall include Fantoni – Nunes to the World Cup.

But how can you remove one pair that went well?

The question is badly put. I repeat that this is just an experiment, or rather an opportunity to test  the new couple. For World Cup Fantunes cannot be discussed. This question gives me the opportunity to clarify the sense of experimentation. It is in the interest of National Team, and therefore of its warmest supporters, have more pairs on whom to rely. It is important to have reserves equal pairs. What TM want to do, and rightly, is to test a new pair to have it available in case one of the titled couples were unable to attend. The experiment is designed to protect the National Italian Team. If for any impediment one of titled pairs could not play the World Cup, then what would we do? And it’s good use European Championship as a test and play safe in the World Championship. If we speak of exclusion, remember that this is only ‘temporary’ exclusion.

Enrico Marchiori commenting on your interview writes an observation that seems interesting. The exclusion, however temporary, from around the country can have a negative psychological relapse for oucasted palyers?

 I’m glad the commentary of Enrico, whom I respect and know well. When we speak of Fantoni and Nunes we are talking about two huge professionals. No, I do not see this risk. It ‘s already happened in 2008 in France, and I did not notice this kind of backlash. Two of their caliber can humanly sorry, I’ll tell you more, They can also angry but remain professional. An incident like this can not touch them.

 Some readers just remind us that in 2008 we lost…

Lost? It was just the most memorable defeat of Italian Team!


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