The fierce struggle for control of the Venezuelan Federation of Aquatic Sports has reached gangster edges. The president of the entity himself, Ender Luzardo, denounced on Friday that he was threatened with death at the end of a meeting he held with sports authorities at the IND headquarters in Montalbán, by a group of motorists who urged him to withdraw from Feveda.
“I thought I was going to be the victim of a robbery, but no, the motorists who were hooded and approached me in my car, they told me that they did not want to see me again in Caracas, that I should stay in Barquisimeto and forget about the federation, because they would shoot me if I continued fighting in the Supreme Court of Justice ”, confirmed in statements for this column the top manager of water sports about what happened.
Feveda entered into an endless struggle, after the successful management of Lourdes Goncalves, who achieved a record of medals throughout the four-year cycle that culminated with the highest number of classifieds in this sport in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. But the leader of the year of the Circle of Sports Journalists presented in 2010 his candidacy for the presidency of the Venezuelan Olympic Committee, he challenged the Lords of the Rings in Venezuela, and from there began a process of leadership instability that has lasted until 2021.
The elections won by the Goncalves plate for the period 2013-2017 were contested in the Supreme Court, and in July 2016 Luzardo was elected president of the entity to complete the interrupted period of Goncalves, in a list that also included Esteban Álvarez, son of the president of the Olympic Committee, Eduardo Álvarez Camacho.
This same formula once again won the elections for the 2017-2021 period, but the process also ended in the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Court, which determined that new elections had to be held, and while the legal conflict was resolved, the 2016 directive, presided over for Luzardo himself, he had to continue at the helm fulfilling administrative functions.
“I do not know who may be behind the threats, but it is very curious that they attack me, when precisely this week the Supreme Court partially ruled in our favor and annulled the Extraordinary General Assembly of September 2020 that illegally appointed a provisional authority with the support of the Venezuelan Olympic Committee. Everyone in swimming knows that Eduardo Álvarez wants his son Esteban to be, I swear, the president of Feveda, and they have done the impossible to destabilize this sports entity, ”Luzardo assured.
On February 9 of this year, the COV board approved a resolution without foundation in the Sports Law in which it approved "formally, legally and legitimately recognize the provisional authority established in the Feveda Statute", a competence that is the only authority of the IND and its board of directors.
"The new decision of the Electoral Chamber of the TSJ made it clear that the Assembly and the provisional authority promoted by Esteban and Eduardo Álvarez is illegitimate, and elections must be held with the associations and leaders that are legally recognized by the IND Directory," he added. Luzardo.
As the period of the Feveda authorities, expired in August 2021, the Supreme Court ordered that the IND and the COV convene within a period of 15 continuous days the General Assembly of Feveda so that its affiliates and delegates appoint the new Electoral Commission that In 30 days, from his appointment, he must organize the electoral process to elect the new directors.
Only seven associations would have the power to participate
The recent electoral process of the Venezuelan Football Federation should mark a milestone in relation to the processes of the rest of the sports promoting entities in Venezuela. Only the elected delegates who had complied with all the provisions of the Sports Law and its Partial Regulations, including their registration and updating in the National Sports Registry, and recognition by the IND Board of Directors, were able to participate in those elections to choose. to the new authorities.
Now that the TSJ ordered the IND to call a General Assembly in Feveda, the same path must be followed so that swimming elects its new leaders. Illegal associations, whose term has expired, cannot be allowed to participate in the Assembly, for the simple fact that they have power and influence in the COV. Until now, Miranda, Carabobo, Lara, Táchira, Sucre, Yaracuy and the Capital District would have the legal power so that their legally elected representatives have a voice and vote in the next Feveda Assembly.
More investment to recover swimming pools is another key problem
The problem of swimming is not only legal, but also facilities. President Nicolás Maduro has requested a plan to promote the Olympic Dream of Venezuelan athletes who start the route to the 2024 Paris Games. According to the president of Feveda, Ender Luzardo, “80% of the country's swimming pools have problems with maintenance and, if we don't have facilities, we can't bring in new athletes and compete with international options ”.
The Bolivarian Government, through the National Sports Institute, recovered the emblematic swimming pool of the United Nations Park, in Caracas, and also invested in the Barquisimeto and Naguanagua Sports Complex, through the Lara and Carabobo governorates. But they are not enough.
The Olympic Dream in Paris should start now by improving the infrastructure of the entire country for swimming and other sports such as athletics, which has long been clamoring for a track and optimal facilities at the Brígido Iriarte national stadium in El Paraíso.