The Case Fresno is the name assigned by the Catalonia media and public opinion to the Federation of International Roller Sports (FIRS) assembly held at Fresno, California, on 26 November 2004. It meant that for the first time in history, an international sport team that had been accepted provisionally was later not accepted definitely. At the same time, it was the first time that a regional sport team (Catalonia) had been registered with the opposition of the state the region belonged to (Spain). The Spanish sport organizations actively lobbied against the Catalonia membership among the members of the assembly. At the Fresno assembly, the membership application was rejected (8–114). However, the Federació Catalana de Patinatge brought the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) at Lausanne, which admitted irregularities in the assembly (notably the lack of secrecy in the vote), invalidated the vote, and forced the FIRS to repeat the vote following the FIRS statute rules. An extraordinary FIRS assembly was held in Rome on November 24, 2005, and again rejected the membership application of the Catalan federation (125–43).
After being granted a temporary membership, Catalonia played the World Championship B, at Macau, (China), in October 2004, winning it. As a result, Catalonia qualified to play the full World Championship, where it played in the same group as Spain.
In addition, a letter of the Consejo Superior de Deported (CSD, the Spanish Council for Sports) to the Colombian federation in which the Spaniards were asking for the vote against Catalonia has been made public. In that letter the CSD stated that the recognition of Catalonia would alter the Spanish sport national unity and would create a wrong precedent. The same letter was sent to some other South American federations .
The German representative admitted that she was contacted by the German MP for Sport demanding the vote against Catalonia. Literally he asked her to make sure she was coming back from Fresno with a "no" against Catalonia.
Repetition of the vote in Rome
On 29 November 2005, the FIRS assembly, meeting in Rome, he repeated the final vote on the admission of the Catalan Federation of Skating.
In this case the method of voting was secret and the president of the Catalan Ramon Basiana was able to defend the nomination.
The extraordinary meeting in Rome of the FIRS rejected by 125 votes to 43 for admission as a full member of the Catalan Federation of Skating
- Court of Arbitration for Sport report (PDF) (in French)
- The Fresno assembly facts, minute by minute
- Official notice by the Federación Española de Patinaje on the results of the Court of Arbitration for Sport verdict[permanent dead link] (in Spanish).
- Catalonia's roller hockey status erased by massive vote. Rome assembly chronicle by the International Herald Tribune.
- Rome assembly Vilaweb new (in Catalan)
- Ramon Besiana speech at the Rome assembly on 24 November 2005[permanent dead link] (DOC file) (in English and Spanish)