A basketball team made up of the children of migrants will not be allowed to compete in a tournament in Italy. That's because teams with more than two non-Italians are banned from the competition. A court found this to be legal.
The basketball team Tam Tam from Castel Volturno near Caserta, southern Italy, is made up entirely of adolescents who were born in Italy to migrant parents. While these teens grew up in Italy, they are not Italian citizens.
Because of this, they were barred from the Under 16 Excellence championship by the federal council of the Federbasket basketball federation. A rule prohibits teams with more than two non-Italian team members.
The team, coached by Max Antonelli, appealed to the regional administrative court (TAR) of Lazio. In late October, the court issued a monocratic ruling of a precautionary suspension of the federation's decision. However, in its final ruling, the court ruled in favor of the federation's decision. It confirmed the team's exclusion from the competition.
Two years ago, an amendment saved the team
Two years ago, the players on the Tam Tam Basket basketball team faced the same situation. The team was denied participation in the federal Under 14 championship because of the same rule.
However, the Gentiloni government intervened with an ad hoc amendment that was added to a budget bill, which was named the "Save Tam Tam regulation."
It allowed young foreigners without a proper stay permit to enroll in the federation, as long as they had been enrolled in an Italian public school for at least one year.
In May of this year, the team won the Under 15 regional championship.
Because the Under 16 Excellence championship is a federal competition, not a regional one, the budget amendment that allowed Tam Tam to compete has no effect on that competition.