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Paola Egonu, who broke with Italy after suffering a racist act, is once again not in the squad after playing EuroVolley

Paola Egonu, who broke with Italy after suffering a racist act, is once again not in the squad after playing EuroVolley

Paola Egonu, one of the best volleyball players in the world, no longer joins the ranks of the Italian team. The player has been left out of the squad list for the pre-Olympic tournament that will be played from September 16 to 24 in Łódź (Poland). A decision that has surprised the Italian country because the day before it was competing for bronze in the EuroVolley. A player who won her first Olympic silver medal when she was only 16 years old and who now, at 24 – almost 25 – will not count for the Italian coach, Davide Mazzanti.

Crisis in Italian volleyball
The player born in Padua (Italy), but of Nigerian parents, suffered a racist act a year ago for which she would end up resigning from the Italian team. She herself would admit at the end of the match in which she led Italy to victory against the Netherlands: “You can’t understand it, you can’t understand it. They asked me why I’m Italian… This is the last match with the national team.” “. Some screams that, despite hearing it, they could not identify the author. An event that was only the prelude to her resignation: “It’s ugly to say it, I don’t want to take away the merit or respect of my colleagues, but I’m always the one who’s singled out.”

The one pointed out is always meIt was the origin of the ‘Egonu Case’, a conflict that, far from being resolved, has been getting worse little by little. Especially after on August 9, the player was once again on an Azzurra list for EuroVolley 2023, yes, skipping the Volleyball Nations League (VNL). From that moment and with the nationalization of the Russian Ekaterina Antropova to the limit, when the coach made a decision: to seat Paola Egonu on the bench. She has not had the minutes that she used to in the matches that Italy has played in the EuroVolley despite being one of the best players in the World who had just won the Champions League with VafikBank, in addition to being the great star of the national team. One of the reasons that the Italian press points out as the focus of the bad relationship between the two.

A breakup announcedAfter what represents a debacle for Italy, a country with a great volleyball tradition, the country’s National Federation released a statement in which they explained the reasons for its exclusion: “The Italian athlete, reiterating her attachment to the Italy jersey, agreed with “The technical commissioner and the federal president Manfredi will not participate in the tournament in Poland to take a period of rest. ” Some explanations that have not been sufficient for the Italian fans and that suggest that he supports the decision made by the coach.

“Paola would have used (very) harsh words for the treatment received”, referring to an argument she would have had with Mazzanti, reveals Gazzetta dello Sport. Although they’re not the only ones. All Italian media have echoed the decision to travel to Poland in search of a place for Paris 2024 without its big star. And only time will tell until when. A decision that could leave them without the Olympic Games next year. All in a country where volleyball is religion.

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