Italian Football Federation
The Italian Football Federation (Italian: Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio; FIGC), also known as Federcalcio, is the governing body of football in Italy. It organises the Italian football league, Coppa Italia, Italian national football team, and the Italian women's national football team. It is based in Rome, and technical department in Florence, and is a founding member of UEFA and a member of FIFA.
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The Federation was founded in 1898 when the sport was picking up in the country and it needed a formal structure to take football and the local team to the next level. The first presidency was decided in the Piedmontese capital of Turin, where Mario Vicary was elected along with Luigi D'Ovidio.
When created, this football federation was given a different name: Federazione Italiana Football (FIF) because all play terms and rules were the same as the official FA rules.
When, in 1909, it was suggested to change the federation's name at annual board elections held in Milan at the end of August, the few teams attending, representing less than 50% the active clubs, decided to send a postcard asking all teams to vote for the 5 new names discussed during the meeting. The new name approved was "Federazione Italiana Giuoco del Calcio" and since then this has been the name of the Italian Football Federation.
This Italian Federation had always been an amateur federation respecting FIFA rules since became a member in 1905. At the end of World War 1, the federation had seen impressive development and several footballers were judged to be professional players and banned according FIFA agreements.
From 1922 to 1926, new and more severe rules were approved for keeping the "amateur" status real and effective, such as footballers' residence and transfer controls but the best players were secretly paid and moved from other provinces illegally. Foreigners had to live in the country in order to get a residence visa and the players' card.
When, in 1926, the Italian Federation Board resigned following a very difficult referees' strike, the fascist Lando Ferretti, president of the Italian Olympic Committee (C.O.N.I.), nominated a Commission to reform all Leagues and federal rules. The Commission signed a document called the "Carta di Viareggio" (Rules issued in Viareggio) where football players were recognized as "non-amateurs" and able to apply for refunds for the money they had lost while playing for the football teams. They had to sign the declaration not being professional players so that FIFA rules were respected because for FIGC they were appearing as "amateurs" receiving just refunds. It was the beginning of the professionism in Italy.
The Carta di Viareggio reduced the number of foreign players to be fielded to just one per match so that the majority of Hungarians remained jobless and got back to their country.
Between 1964 and 1980, foreign players were banned from the Italian league, primarily to revive the national team.
The FIGC was placed in administration in May 2006 as a result of the Serie A scandal of 2006 and was put under the management of Guido Rossi.
In May 2006, Rossi was chosen and accepted the role of President of Telecom Italia. This appointment caused angry reactions from club presidents in Italy.
On September 19, Rossi resigned his position as Commissioner of FIGC. On September 21, Luca Pancalli, head of the Italian Paralympic Committee, was chosen to replace Rossi.
On April 2, 2007, a president was finally elected, with former Vice-President Giancarlo Abete being voted by 264 grand electors out of 271.
On December 2, 2008, the FIGC announced the top ten all-time greatest Italian football players. They were (in order):
- Giuseppe Meazza
- Luigi Riva
- Roberto Baggio
- Paolo Maldini
- Giacinto Facchetti
- Sandro Mazzola
- Giuseppe Bergomi
- Valentino Mazzola
- Marco Tardelli
- Paolo Rossi
- World Cup: 4 times (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006)
- European Football Championship: once (1968)
- Olympics: once (1936)
- Dr. Gerö Cup: twice (1927–1930, 1933–1935)