Tam Tam, no championship of Excellence for “Italian” foreigners: “From the Fip no to the derogation”

Massimo Antonelli’s company based in Castelvolturno had “changed the law” in 2017, but must again deal with the rules of the Federation: in the national youth championship at most two foreigners

Tam Tam Basket, here we go again. This time, unlike four years ago, when they could not even be registered, the rules of the Italian Basketball Federation do not allow these guys to participate in the championship they deserved on the pitch. The company of Castelvolturno, province of Caserta, a splendid integration laboratory, would like to enroll in the under 17 and under 19 Excellence, the highest level of youth. A dream that hits the rule of fielding a maximum of two foreigners, for which the FIP is not granting exceptions. And according to the law, Tam Tam players are almost all. Children of immigrants, or second generation immigrants, who were born in Italy and attend Italian school.

The history of Tam Tam

Massimo Antonelli, a 68-year-old Roman former basketball champion with Naples and Virtus Bologna, brought them together. It did so in a symbolic place for inclusion given that the Municipality of Castelvolturno is the one with the highest incidence of non-EU inhabitants, especially Africans. A harsh context that exposes the youngest, and not only, to marginalization, drug trafficking and organized crime. In the gym of Pineta Grande for a few hours a week they escape from all this, even if the difficulties have never been lacking. “Ours is a never-ending story. Every time we seem to have reached a goal, a new obstacle arrives” wrote the club to explain the impossibility of taking part in the championship of Excellence, the one of national importance. A déjà-vu that takes us back to 2017, when Tam Tam was not allowed to play official matches. Then the company inspired a law (the “Salva Tam Tam” in fact), an amendment to ensure that the Federation would allow the registration of players without Italian citizenship. A provision that is valid only for the regional championships and that for two years – after the victory of the regional under 15 – has forbidden Antonelli’s team from competing at the highest level.

The letter

Tam Tam Basket is trying in every way to convince the Fip to grant an exemption to a limit, that of the two foreigners, which represents a barrier to the “purchases” of the richest companies. In these days the boys have sent a letter to the federal number one Gianni Petrucci: “Dear President, we wish to enroll in the championship of Excellence: it can be, and we hope it will be, a very good opportunity to grow and get involved and show how much we are worth”. “We, of course – continue the young people – are aware of the rules that the Fip has set for the championships, but it is precisely for these rules that teams and groups like ours are unable to play and express their joy and freedom by doing one of the things. they love most, playing basketball “.

The no of the Fip

Massimo Antonelli, the soul of this “laboratory” of social integration, also pointed out the paradox: “Our boys have inspired the ‘rule saves Tam Tam Basket’ and are the first not to benefit from it”. “I remember – continues his outburst on social media – that they were all born in Italy, but children of foreign citizens, therefore also foreign citizens, and normally attend schools, many of them are also enrolled in the fifth year with the Fip”. He says that the Federation had been asked for an exemption: “They said no, explaining that they had also consulted the other teams with whom we should have played”. “Fortunately – he concludes – not all sports federations start to check which parents the children were born from. In fact there are federations that implement sport ius soli, more sensitive and more inclusive federations, which know how to keep up with the times, be careful to social changes and who know how to seize the opportunities in the best possible way “. Meanwhile, against the exclusion of the under 17 from the category of Excellence, Tam Tam has resorted to the TAR.

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Tam Tam, no championship of Excellence for “Italian” foreigners: “From the Fip no to the derogation”

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