The World Flying Disc Federation (“WFDF”) has completed its report by the Conduct Committee of allegations of theft by a number of members of the Italian delegation to the 2012 World Juniors Ultimate Championship and the European Under-17 Ultimate Championship in Dublin this last August. This follows the completion of a review by the Federazione Italiana Flying Disc (“FIFD”) and by the European Ultimate Federation (“EUF”) earlier in the fall. A significant amount of merchandise was stolen from the official vendor, Five Ultimate, although it was subsequently returned when the team manager for FIFD learned of the scheme.
With coordination among all three involved governing bodies, the following actions are announced:
The FIFD board has decided upon the following course of action:
• Under 17 Players: suspension from all national teams in 2013; suspension from national championship and subsequent events (EUCF and Club Worlds) in 2012 and 2013;
• Under 20 Players: suspension from all national teams in 2013 and 2014; suspension from Italian national championship and subsequent events (EUCF and Club Worlds) in 2012 and 2013;
• All involved players: detailed letter to their parents, delivered by local club presidents; two compulsory meetings during tryouts in 2013 with a psychologist and pedagogist; contributions in the development of a new FIFD internal Conduct Code.
In addition to the sanction imposed by FIFD, the Italian Under 17 players involved were subject to an immediate sanction by EUF at the event in Dublin through the withdrawal of awarded medals (immediately after the award ceremony).
In addition to sanctions imposed by FIFD and EUF, all involved players (both Under 17 and Under 20) will be subject to the following sanctions by WFDF:
· Personal loss of any standing in the 2012 WJUC;
· Exclusion from participation in WFDF-sanctioned events through year end 2013;
· Requirement of four hours of personal service at the first WFDF-sanctioned event in which they play in 2014, if any (i.e. World Juniors Ultimate Championship or World Ultimate Club Championship); such service would include tasks such as lining fields, delivering water and ice to fields, cleaning trash at the end of the day, or other tasks as assigned by the tournament organizing staff; FIFD has agreed to notify the TOC of Involved Parties subject to this service requirement and ensure the cooperation of the Involved Parties; and
· Written apology from each of the Involved Parties to Five Ultimate in a form acceptable to WFDF, EUF, and FIFD. Such apology will be submitted after the two counseling sessions organized by FIFD for the involved players in the spring of 2013.
FIFD President Francesco Franceschetti stated: “This is a very unfortunate incident which the FIDF board felt required a strong but constructive response. We appreciate the level of cooperation and coordination we have received from the other disc governing bodies in developing a thoughtful program.” “This was a type of ‘spirit of the game’ violation off the field with which we were disappointed to have to address at an otherwise very successful event, and we hope that all players can learn from the mistakes made,” said Andrea "Oddi" Furlan, President of the EUF. Robert “Nob” Rauch, WFDF President, commented: “This was a very serious offense and we appreciate the approach taken by Five Ultimate in working with WFDF, EUF, and FIFD to avoid criminal action by the local police. We laud FIFD and its staff in the way they handled this unfortunate and embarrassing situation and are hopeful that all players will recognize the potential serious consequences of thoughtless actions.” The WFDF Conduct Committee was comprised of Rauch, WFDF President, as chair, Patrick van der Valk, Spirit of the Game Subcommittee Chair, Ryan Purcell, Chair of the Athletes Commission, and Volker Bernardi, Executive Director.