President of the Athletics Federation reacts to Fernanda Ribeiro: ‘It’s not very fair…’

Fernanda Ribeiro left the board “indignant” because her coach João Campos did not see his merit recognized at the 100 Years Gala, to which some “discomfort” was added for understanding that his contributions were not so valued, while João Ganço understood that the coaches were not properly valued at the same time.

The president of the Portuguese Athletics Federation (FPA) downplayed the resignations of Fernanda Ribeiro and João Ganço from the direction of the organization and the criticisms of several athletes, valuing the best results ever in the Olympic Games.

“I would say that what is happening is not very fair. This episode comes when we celebrate 100 years. This is a year of celebration of great Olympic results and, therefore, it was not desirable to have accidents along the way with two fellow directors, who entered precisely at my invitation”, lamented Jorge Vieira, in an interview with Lusa.

Fernanda Ribeiro left the board “indignant” because her coach João Campos did not see his merit recognized at the 100 Years Gala, to which some “discomfort” was added for understanding that his contributions were not so valued, while João Ganço understood that the coaches were not properly valued at the same time.

Jorge Vieira regrets the dismissals and accepts “freedom of expression”, although he understands the criticisms as “unfair and incomprehensible”, stressing that life “will continue” and that the FPA will “overcome” the situation, while athletics will persist as a “modality Of success”.

Regarding internal democracy, he guarantees that “never” Fernanda Ribeiro, or another member of the board, was “prevented” from expressing her opinions, accepting that this “would be criticized, reprehensible”.

He recalled that the executive committee, consisting of the president and vice presidents, meets weekly and that, “obviously, it has to take decisions, with functions validated in the internal governance regulations, with autonomy for each, all of which are ratified in a management meeting “.

The official made mea culpa about the poor organization of the national cross-country championship, a logistical chaos that deserved general criticism, however he also understands that the criticisms that he and the FPA took on were “excessive”, recalling that he organizes “hundreds” of annual tests “always with great quality”.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t make mistakes for the simple reason that they don’t do anything in their daily lives, they don’t make decisions”, he noted.

He recalled that the situation, which motivated an open letter from more than a dozen of the best national competitors, resulted from a “growth crisis”.

“It was precisely because of this new dimension of the sport, because of the interest we have in bringing these two elite areas together with grassroots activity, that this problem occurred, which I say will not happen again. I have already made this mistake. with the growth of the modality itself. It will not happen in the future, as we will separate these two dimensions”, he clarified.

As for the criticisms for the fact that Portugal did not present a complete selection in the cross country Europeans in Dublin, he considered it unfounded, attributing this option to the technical direction validated by him and his peers.

“The technical option was to take the best athletes to the European championships. We don’t have to take complete teams just because there is that possibility. We don’t want to, even for reasons of financial rationality”, he explained.

He also assumed part of the blame for the disappearance of the Portuguese fund and half-fund for the good performances in the main international competitions, but he wants the athletes and their coaches to do the same.

“I think that the FPA can also have reasons and faults in this process, but it is also obvious that the main interpreters of these disciplines also have it”, he summed up.

He cited examples from the past in which, at the time of success, several athletes and coaches rushed to say that they had nothing to do with the FPA, “which, on the other hand, has a broad back when things don’t go well”.

The federative leader is confident that in 2022 the technical disciplines will maintain “excellent international results” – in Tokyo’2020, Pedro Pablo Pichardo’s gold in the triple jump and Patrícia Mamona’s silver in this same specialty were highlighted – and that the best in the fund and half-fund will show equally meritorious performances.

“No, not wanting to reduce athletics to the dimension of the fund and half-fund! Portuguese athletics today has a global value, with Olympic results that it never had”, he concluded.

Jorge Vieira, who has chaired the FPA since 2012, fulfills his third and final term at the head of the organization, for which he was re-elected on October 31, 2020, in an electoral act in which he defeated António Nobre.

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President of the Athletics Federation reacts to Fernanda Ribeiro: ‘It’s not very fair…’

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