The president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), José Manuel Franco, responded this Thursday to his counterpart in the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, who accused the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) of being “an ally of independence” after not present the joint candidacy with Catalonia for the 2030 Games, a qualification that for the leader “exceeds some of the” barbarities “he has heard and that he also defended Pau Gasol.

“There are phrases that are disqualified, such as calling the COE an ally of independence. I have heard many barbarities throughout my life, but that one may exceed some of those I have heard before. Right now we are still digesting the disappointment because it would have been a magnificent joint candidacy,” Franco said this Thursday during the Europa Press Sports Breakfasts sponsored by DAZN, Repsol, Loterías y Apuestas del Estado and Unicaja Banco.

The president of the CSD was also clear when commenting on Lambán’s words, who asked Pau Gasol to inform himself “better”, after his support for the COE’s decision. “We have to digest it, but what we cannot do is speak in those terms of an exemplary athlete, on the track and off the basketball court. These are words that a figure like Pau Gasol, an icon of Spanish sport, does not deserve. “, he pointed.

Regarding the work of the Spanish Olympic Committee, the president of the CSD recognized the effort and “dose of patience” to try to carry out the candidacy. “It has not been possible, but this is not the time to blame, let’s think about the future and see if it is possible for 2034,” he settled.

Asked about the possible candidacies of Aragon and Catalonia separately, Franco explained that “the most powerful thing” is to go together. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for two candidates from two autonomous communities to be presented. Nor is it good for the success we all seek, which is to organize the Winter Games in Spain,” he warned.


Precisely, the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, also refers in an interview to ‘El Mundo’ about not giving up the Olympic dream of the capital in the future. “For once I agree with the mayor, but there has to be a serious proposal and present it to the COE and then that possibility will be seen. The COE has not received any proposal that I know of from the City Council, I have only heard isolated phrases from its different spokespersons” , said.

Along these lines, he was convinced that the COE “will treat the candidacy with all the affection it deserves” if there is consensus and it is presented. “I would love it if Spain could organize the Winter and Summer Games and the 2030 World Cup. It has plenty of capacity to do it and we do it very well. It seems that we have a certain complex and when we see other countries we see the greatness of Spanish sport also in the organization,” he said.

“When a Spanish team plays, whatever sport it is, it is successful. At that time there are no athletes from Galicia, the Canary Islands, Catalonia or Aragon, it is the Spanish team and that is how we have to claim it. Sport must be used as a tool to unite , not to separate”, sentenced.