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  • Malago Beats Pagnozzi in Race for CONI Presidency


    (ATR) Giovanni Malago is elected as new president of the Italian National Olympic Committee.
    Giovanni Malago (CONI)

    Malago replaces Giovanni Petrucci, who quit CONI in September after 14 years at the helm.

    The 53-year-old drew 40 votes to 35 for CONI secretary general Raffaele Pagnozzi.

    Simone Gambino, president of the Italian cricket federation, was the other candidate but didn’t poll any votes.

    Franco Chimenti and Giorgio Scarso were elected as the new vice presidents. The new CONI secretary general is Roberto Fabbricini from athletics; deputy secretary Charles Mornati comes from rowing.

    Malago, a luxury-car businessman and head organizer of the 2009 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Rome, is also president of the Canottieri Aniene club. The sports club, billed as one of the best in Italy, produced 22 athletes who competed for their country at the London Olympics.

    "In sport it's difficult to win, but it's also difficult not to win," Malago was quoted by the Associated Press. "I consider this job to be the most important there is in this country. I'll do everything to honor it".

    A source close to CONI tells Around the Rings that Malago would breathe new life into the leadership of the NOC. The new president’s charisma “and good connection with politicians and important people in the country” would boost CONI’s international standing.

    His close associations with private enterprises would also help to boost CONI’s revenues, the source indicated.

    Pagnozzi’s defeat is a significant blow. But while he no longer has a major role at CONI, he is expected to be nominated again by CONI to be re-elected secretary general of the European Olympic Committees.

    Elections for the EOC president and executive committee will take place at the general assembly in Rome in November.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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