The International Table Tennis Federation included the Malvinas Islands as a full member of the body despite the rejection of the Argentine Foreign Ministry and the national Federation in that sport. The decision was made after a vote at the ITTF assembly in the United States. Now the Argentine territory appears as an independent member.
Speaking to Radio Provincia, the president of the Argentine Table Tennis Federation, Fernando Joffre, revealed that “since we found out about this request for membership we have been working to prevent it” and, for that, “we contacted the Olympic Committee and the Chancellery ”. The leader explained that “we transmitted our rejection” in the assembly from a speech that they constructed together with the political authorities of our country and “we sent emails to all the countries of the world to support us” in that position, which anyway had an adverse outcome. However, he explained that “the International Federation is interested in having many affiliations, even if those affiliates do not even have athletes.”
“The Falkland Islands are an integral part of the Argentine national territory and there cannot be two federations that represent our country,” emphasized the national representative. He also indicated that “now is the time for the Foreign Ministry to continue the claim” because it considered that “there are issues that exceed us as sports leaders.”
In this context, Joffre said that “we are not going to affiliate the Islands in the South American Confederation”, of which he is part of its board of directors. In any case, he clarified that “we are not against an athlete from the Falkland Islands coming to participate in our federated circuit.”
Finally, he said that from the Argentine Table Tennis Federation “we are on the right track from the sporting point of view” because “we have very talented young people”, although he acknowledged “we have to improve women’s table tennis.” “We are working hard. We have many projects with few resources. If you compare our budget with that of Brazil, the gap is evident, “he said.