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EBL will disallow Fantoni and Nunes

The European Bridge League (EBL) will continue to deny Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes, who were convicted for collusive cheating, entry to any bridge event organized by the EBL, despite the acquittal in the appeal to this conviction by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). So states EBL president Yves Aubry in reply to the following two questions by Bridge Magazine IMP's publisher Rob Helle:

  • What is the official EBL position with regards to the participation of Fulvio Fantoni and/or Claudio Nunes in events organized by the EBL?
  • Is either Fantoni or Nunes participating in the upcoming Monaco Winter Games? Charles Allavena [event organizer] tells me that that entry to the event is handled by the EBL.

Aubry's Full Statement

To resume:

  • Fantoni-Nunes were sentenced by the EBL Disciplinary Committee in 2016. They appeal to CAS and finally CAS said that EBL has not proved enough with statistics they were cheating, CAS add this does not mean they are innocent of any wrongdoing and if EBL has presented other evidences maybe CAS Award has been different. You sure read the CAS Award and all comments on Bridge Winners.
  • Fantoni-Nunes were also sentenced 3 times in Italy by FIGB Tribunal Federale and Corto di Appello and by CONI (Italian Olympic Committee). Suspended for 3 years. They made the last possible appeal to TAR (a civil Italian court) who decide to hold a hearing in December 2018 but also reject the request of Fantoni-Nunes not to be suspended during this appeal period. So they are still suspended up to 9 April 2019.
  • An important point is: the motivations are also based on other facts, based not on the collusive cheating allegations in the Laws of Bridge/EBL DiscCo but rather on general provisions in the CONI Code of Conduct (articles 2 and 3) relating to obligations of loyalty, propriety, etc.

What happens:

  • Fantoni came to play in Barcelona playing with Miguel Trapé, the President of the Catalan Bridge Federation (not existing for the EBL) Friday 2 February.
  • I was informed at the end of the 1st session that Fantoni was playing in Barcelona. I was in Belfast for the EBL NBOs Officers’ Seminar.
  • Immediately during the night (1AM Saturday 3 February) I sent to Miquel Trapé a mail that Fantoni was still suspended up to 9 April 2019.
  • In the morning (Saturday 3) I received a mail from Miguel Trapé saying that following Fantoni’s Lawyers it was not true and following the CAS award he was able to play.
  • I sent immediately (Saturday 3) to all EBL NBO’s and to WBF a reminder to explain that, by reciprocity, and following EBL statutes and ByLaws the FIGB decision continues to be effective.
  • Fantoni Lawyers sent me immediately (Saturday afternoon 3) a long mail contesting this position, with the affirmation that after the decision of CAS, the FIGB decision cannot remain.
  • Of course EBL Lawyers have many arguments in front of that (not developed here: all is now in the hand of lawyers).
  • Always by reciprocity WBF published on Tuesday 6 February a statement with the suspension of Fantoni and Nunes up to 9 April 2019 by reciprocity following WBF Constitution.

To answer your 2 questions:

1. EBL will not accept Fantoni or Nunes in any EBL event up to 9 April 2019. And following our EBL Eligibility Code, after the end of the period of suspension, no player sentenced can play with another sentenced player in a pair or as a teammate.

2. It is exact that Winter Games is an EBL official event. I will personally attend the Winter Games in Monaco and the European Championships in Ostend and you can be sure that Fantoni and/or Nunes will not participate in the EBL events.

3. I will add that all NBOs participating in the EBL seminar in Belfast are sharing EBL and WBF position and will take care that these 2 players cannot participate in any event under their authority. And for ACBL the decision of a ban for life is still effective.

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