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Italy's ice hockey bosses at the PK in Trento, from left Thomas Rottensteiner, Andrea Gios and Marcello Cobelli. © det

After Italy's World Cup defeat: Now the ice hockey bosses are speaking

The missed promotion to the home World Cup in Bolzano left deep wounds among Italy's players. What about the bosses? On Friday they held a press conference in Trento. One thing has already become clear: there won't be much head-rolling for the time being.

From Trento

Thomas Debelyak

In the House of Sports in Trento on Friday morning, Italy's ice hockey bosses took stock of the home World Cup. Andrea Gios (President of the Ice Sports Association FISG), his deputy Thomas Rottensteiner and the FISG ice hockey manager Marcello Cobelli have mixed feelings when they look back on the past World Cup week in Bolzano. On the one hand, the event itself was a complete success, with viewer numbers that sometimes surprised those responsible. On the other hand, and this point prevails, the missed promotion left deep wounds.

“The World Cup was disappointing because we wanted to be promoted,” President Andrea Gios summed it up succinctly. What particularly bothers Italy's ice hockey boss: "We have lost all four decisive games at the World Cup in the last two years." This means: Two years ago there were defeats in Nottingham against the direct promotion opponents Great Britain and Poland, this year it was against Slovenia and Hungary like that.

What's the problem?

At the same time, Gios also emphasizes: “The team’s performance was much better this year than in England. I want to emphasize that the best team that local ice hockey has played here.” In his remarks, Gios also explains why he thinks there is a problem.

Italy's ice sports president Andrea Gios. © det

“At the home World Cup in 1994, there were eleven professional teams in Serie A in Italy. We had a choice of 130 Italian players. Today there are three top teams that play in the ICE (HC Bozen, HC Pustertal, Asiago, editor's note) and only around ten Italians who get an average of ten minutes or more of ice time per match. We are also lagging behind when it comes to structures: only one or two new structures have been built since 1994.”

There is no chair backing for now

It was surprising on Friday that Stefan Zisser, the Azzurri's sporting director, was not at the press conference. This caused speculation in advance, but Gios put a stop to it. “We wanted only the top management of the association to speak today,” said the president.

There will be no chair backing or head rolling in the sporting leadership or coaching staff for the time being. However, there will still be a lot of discussion and analysis in the next few days and weeks, as Vice President Thomas Rottensteiner confirms in our video interview.

One moment please - the video is loading

The fact is: two years before the Olympic Games in Milan and Cortina, the national ice hockey team remains a problem child. Andrea Gios & Co. did not put a concrete solution proposal for the future on the table on Friday.

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