Earlier today on the Federazione Italiana Wheelchair Hockey (FIWH) website, FIWH President Antonio Spinelli promised to do whatever it takes to win following his team’s last place performance at this year’s IWAS Electric Wheelchair Hockey World Championship in Munich, Germany earlier this month. Italy lost every single came in the competition, culmination in their 3 – 9 loss to Australia in the seventh eighth place placement match.
People on Facebook had demanded his resignation following the team’s performance, holding him accountable for the outcome. Spinelli openly admitted the team performed poorly, and the result was not acceptable. To improve on this result, he said reflection needs to be done regarding where people want the Italian organization to go, and what people want from the organization. He also said, “E se ci sarà qualcosa da cambiare, lo farò senza pormi limiti.” which translates as, “And if there will be something to change, I’ll do it myself without limits.”
He cited stability issues with team leadership. In February, the national team coach Michele Fierravanti resigned for personal reasons. FIWH had to quickly look for a new national team coach with the world championships only a few months away at that time. In searching for a new coach, the President wanted someone players would respect and trust. The situation was a distraction. At the same time, Spinelli claims players came into the competition without any real focus, and without a belief that they could win.