Basque Country wants its own teams for swimming, canoeing, fencing, squash, motor racing, table tennis and chess

Basque Country wants its own teams for swimming, canoeing, fencing, squash, motor racing, table tennis and chess

Outside of Spain, seven Basque sports federations applied to international organizations to become official teams. It is a process where they receive the encouragement and support of the Basque Government. Gorka Iturriaga, Executive Director of Physical Activity and Sports, attended the presentation of this initiative with representatives of swimming, canoeing, fencing, squash, motor racing, table tennis and chess federations. It is important to approve the new Sports Law. This law, which still has to pass the Senate, recognizes that athletes from disciplines such as surfing or pelota can compete internationally under a Basque team other than the Spanish team, thanks to an amendment by the PNV.



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Specifically, Article 44 of the said regulation states that “autonomous sports federations may participate directly in the international arena, when it comes to sports modalities or specialties that have historical and social roots in their autonomous community, if the relevant international federation intends to participate”. or where the autonomous federation forms part of an international federation prior to the establishment of the relevant Spanish federation”. In the Basque pelota the necessity of historical roots is met and it remains to be seen whether the seven federations currently claiming their constitutions as ‘citizens’ can meet these requirements of the law, while navigating the ancient times of the federation. But Iturriaga acknowledged that the new regulations allowed him to have “a certain optimism” that his request might be accepted, and that the Supreme Sports Council had been “kinder” to the request. not to go “against anything or anyone”, but to “defend the sport and the Basque athletes”.

Iturriaga, what On the job since September Replacing Jon Redondo, he insisted that the decision now rests with the federations that are stepping up and wanting to join the initiative, but that the Basque Government is willing to accompany and assist them, as it has shown in all years. It was during this process that he tried to progress towards their own official sports teams. In fact, despite the opportunity they now see in changes to state regulations, many have insisted that they are working on this initiative, and that there is already “planning” to be able to address definitive changes or investments. This is considered the creation of their own choices. “These seven new petitions for official status are only the beginning of a long road that responds to the desire of a very important segment of Basque society to be represented in the international arena through the practice of sports.”

In addition to these seven new Basque federations making requests, we must add those that have already done so: mountaineering, surfing, weightlifting, boxing, herri kirolak, ball, canoeing or football federations, but the latter is already waived by FIFA or UEFA, which has accepted your application for Entry. The process will be very lengthy, so for now, it has little impact from a practical point of view beyond the purely political question. As they explain, international federations usually meet in the periods between the Olympic Games, so in most cases these requests are not addressed for another two years at the relevant meetings of international organizations.

Ángel Gurrutxaga, president of the Basque Association of Sports Federations (UFDV), who was present at the event, said, ” Basque Sports Law It includes the UFDV’s obligation to support and promote the birth and development of Basque sports teams, with particular emphasis on the participation of our teams in state and international competitions”. “This is what we do, we comply with the law,” he states. In this sense, the director of the association, Leire Gerenabarrena, stated that this initiative to encourage the participation of different Basque sports federations in international organizations called Basque Sport “is good for Basque sport”. And he adds: “It’s also for our athletes, because for the vast majority, if this step is achieved, it will mean the possibility of experiencing international sports, it’s very unlikely.”


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