“There is a government that denies ambition to Barcelona and it is terrible”
Why did you choose Lewis Companies Olympic Stadium for your interview?
Because there is no better representation of a certain point of view, there is no better landscape in the city that links the city and the sport, and at the same time it is the scene of some of the city’s proudest moments and not only on a sporting level. And it should also be future-affirming, in the sense of what can happen here and from this point we can see the city from above and think about it.
What contribution can Ascara Republicana make to improving the sports health of the city?
From the outset, we take sport seriously because what characterizes Barcelona from the point of view of what society means and its personality. Here we have a very high level of sports practice, but in recent years we have taken a step back, starting with the budgetary dimension itself, we have taken a step back. The government does not believe in favoring the sport and especially Barcelona en comu. We must achieve ambition, drive, socialization, support for grassroots sports, women’s sports, recovery and expansion of spaces in sports facilities to recover an international presence through major events. We will double the budget for sports which has been stuck for almost eight years. It is a way of recognizing our commitment. Mr. Trias has already reduced it and Mrs. Colau and Mr. Colboni even more, now it is a question of returning it to the minimum dimension of 50 million euros, which suits us. And here we must highlight the solid alliance with the Government of the Generalitat and the General Secretariat of Esports. Initiatives should be promoted in these areas, sports facilities, auxiliary clubs and federations, grassroots sports, public facilities and some symbolic actions such as the recovery of the Palau d’Sports on Lleida Street, whose state is shameful. This Palace was amazing and it has been abandoned and it is not the only case.
We’ve found ourselves with a government that denies ambition, that denies Barcelona the possibility of having ambition and that’s terrible
However, don’t you think political parties don’t pamper sports the way it deserves?
True, not only elite and professional sports. The normal practice of sport gives us a civic and civic quality, and here sport as an educational tool is being wasted. Sport should be turned into a school of civility and decency, of well considered competition, of mutual respect and I think we are not taking advantage of that.
Are you seeing yourself winning the election?
Yes, I see myself competing till the last minute and with every passing day clear chances of victory and more as I look back, street aspirants and what other candidates say and I think they are wrong.
We say yes to the Athletics World Cup, to clubs, to neighborhood sports centers and to public space
What can the Escara Republicana contribute to the city?
Apart from some obvious program commitments, as I am telling you in the field of sports, the best contribution I can make is a certain attitude, a way of understanding the relationship between the city council and the citizens, and therefore trust. With the idea of recovering public and institutional action, credibility and, above all, ambition, pride and enthusiasm. For example, there is the World Athletics Championships, which will be one of the symbols of this vision of ambition. We have seen a government that denies ambition, that denies Barcelona the possibility of having ambition, and that is terrible. This confusion builds on everything we’ve said before, with significant events and international prominence. We have to once again become the context of what sport means to the world.
All the polls are saying that the elections will again be very close. What are you willing to give up to become mayor?
What I am bound to do is explain why I intend to be the mayor with the most votes and how our proposal is different from the rest. And since it is, I am well aware of the differences with Mr. Colboni. We have just seen Mr. Escude, the representative of the Socialist Party in the field of sports, who has decided to say ‘no’ to the World Athletics Championships and I think this is a good reason for all the athletes in the city not to vote for the Socialist Party and Yes to Ascara Republicanana. We say yes to the World Cup, to clubs, to neighborhood sports centers and to public space.
Barcelona should be a sports benchmark around the world. it proves our commitment
What will be the pillars of your sports policy Yes or Yes?
Improving facilities, expanding public spaces for sport, the relationship between health and sport and the recovery of the prominence of sport as the city’s defining concept and one that identifies us. The Copa America is an example, but in a very specific sense. It may seem that this is an elite sport for the few and mighty, but Barcelona will have to show that it is able to take advantage of these events and develop a group of water sports and the seaside as a place for water sports. Could be turned into reclaimed ground for practice. ,
Which sports fitness is in the city of Barcelona?
It’s been so good that by inertia it keeps up, but it’s declining. We are missing sports practice, but we are in a position to return to optimal condition for this sports health.
Are there enough sports facilities in the city?
No, if we think about the demand and there is evidence of so many clubs that have serious problems in managing waiting lists and schedules, groups and competitions. It’s not easy, as Barcelona is a very compact city, but you must have imagination and some degree of collusion with neighbors.
I see myself competing till the last minute with a clear chance of winning and with each passing day
Which sport do you see most in danger?
Look, I get nervous when I go to the Texonera rugby ground. An effort has been made and some minimum conditions of respect have been retrieved, but we are not doing what needs to be done to make rugby a great sport in Catalonia. It is a game of nobility, characterized by physical intensity, fair play and a collective attitude that has much to do with the values of sport as a definition of citizenship.
Barcelona bets on being the international capital of sport once again. Do you bet on it?
completely. There’s a lot of talk about La Vuelta now, but what about the Velodrom de Horta? There are cities in Catalonia that are strongly committed to this issue and that’s perfect, a city like Barcelona doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a great velodrome.
Which event would you like to see included in the sports agenda of the city?
First, the World Athletics Championships. Athletics is the mother of almost all sports, so Barcelona’s statement in this area would make perfect sense. We had it in hand, but the socialists refused and rejected it, they said no to Barcelona. We will say yes and we will do it immediately. We can all have ambitions and at one point or another we can think about the Olympic Games again, but what I don’t want is frivolity. You will have to do the work and see how much is the sum of commitments and abilities to put in the service of this idea.
What happened with the candidacy for the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees is countless confirmation of a certain attitude that, depending on who is in this state, does not understand or accept that Catalonia can play a relevant role on its own and break likes to share what first
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya’s contract with F1 expires in 2026, will you renew it?
Good discussion. You have to do a good analysis of the costs and benefits, what are the contributions, what are the returns and the legacy, as we will ask at the Copa America. In case you don’t understand less, infrastructure, economic, industrial, technological and learning must be a legacy. In the circuit we focus a lot on Formula 1 and MotoGP, and less on competitions such as the Superbike World Championship, which are in many ways closer and more real, and there is also a Catalan industry that organizes and competes, it has What is it to win the support of the public?
How did you feel when you saw that the Pyrenees Winter Olympic candidacy came undone?
It depends on who we have in this state, who does not understand or accept that Catalonia itself can play a relevant role and who prefers to break rather than share and that Indicative of how decisions are made in this state; Beyond the most legitimate debate, under what circumstances, what climate change means, which vision of the Pyrenees should be preferred. There was a perspective of powerful territorial change and not only the game, but they stopped us prematurely.
We will double the budget for sports
Should women’s sports be promoted further?
Absolutely, and it has been shown that there is a great return for each resource invested, although there are still some levels of practice that are well below what is desired. The potential for positive change is immense and justifies the allocation and promotion of resources.
Do you have time for sports?
I practice table tennis when I can.
And, if it were in your hands, would you want Messi to return to Barca?
Come back if you feel like it. I don’t think this dimension of professional football with moving figures is the best context for the conversation we have or to be part of the debate on the country’s sporting strategy, but it is also a symbolic and identity element.
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