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  • ATR First: FINA Considering Election Procedure Revisions


    (ATR) International Aquatics Federation (FINA) president Julio Maglione tells Around the Rings that the federation could change its election process in an effort to preserve “clean sport”.

    FINA president Julio Maglione (ATR)
    In July’s FINA elections, the 81-year old Uruguay NOC president and two-term FINA chief was able to fend off the challenge from Italian Paolo Barelli with 258 votes to Barelli’s 77. Barelli sought to invoke age and term limits for candidates, rules that Maglione abolished when he assumed the presidency in 2009.

    However, Maglione was able to acquire 77 percent of the vote.

    "The electoral process was hard, difficult, but now everything is moving forward and we are in search of reforms," Maglione told ATR during the PanamSports Executive Committee meeting in Miami, the organization formerly and formally known as PASO.

    Maglione is no longer the president of PanamSports but was named an honorary president for his work to stabilize and reform the organization following the death of long-time president Mario Vazquez Rana. Fresh off his work revising the PASO constitution, Maglione is setting his sights on revising FINA’s statutes.

    Maglione (middle-left) attended the PanamSports Executive Committee meeting in Miami as its honorary president.(PanamSports)
    "We will review our Constitution with a view towards the future activities of FINA,” he says. “As of now there are no election bylaws and that created major difficulties.”

    He said he needs to work to create a "very united" FINA so that it does not have "the slightest of cracks".

    Maglione also denied that the recent dispute over the presidency has harmed the federation.

    "FINA did not suffer,” he told ATR. “We cannot allow something like this to happen and in the future must avoid any difficulties that may arise and harm the federation.”

    He said there is a commission of lawyers and experts who are currently studying amendments to the constitution, although he admits they “would be very few". He added that “general lines of work could be established” in that regard at the next meeting of the FINA Executive Bureau in China this December.

    Maglione hopes to continue to improve the sport's position on the Olympic program. (FINA)
    For his third term as president, Maglione said he will help every National Federation that does not have a regulation pool get one as a way to teach the sport and organize competitions.

    In regards to this project and the funds required, he said "the economic situation of FINA is very good”.

    With the IOC decision to add three new events under FINA’s disciplines, the federation will have 49 events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This new allocation will make FINA the federation that offers the most medals during the Olympics.

    "For the first time we are the sport with the most medals but now we have to keep it and see how it can be improved, because falling apart is the easiest thing that can happen,” warned the FINA chief who is also a member of the IOC. “The challenge is to preserve it, to improve everything we can that is possible."

    He also praised his PanamSports successor, Neven Ilic of Chile, whom he said "has the best intentions". Maglione says Ilic is "an intelligent and capable man" who can solidify the continental association’s plans for what has been called "the new era" of PanamSports.

    Written by Miguel Hernandez and translated by Kevin Nutley.

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