European Athletics, Salvini celebrates blue successes on social networks.Users freeze it: “ for Vannacci they are not Italian ”

European Athletics, Salvini celebrates blue successes on social networks.Users freeze it: “ for Vannacci they are not Italian ”

European Athletics: Salvini Celebrates Blue Successes on Social Networks Amidst Controversy Over National Identity

Matteo Salvini, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Lega Nord party, took to link to celebrate Italy’s athletic successes at the European Athletics Championships held in Berlin, Germany, from August 1-4, 2019. Salvini’s posts highlighted the achievements of Italian athletes, with a particular focus on those who won gold medals for Italy.

Controversial Posts

However, Salvini’s posts were not without controversy. In one instance, he shared a photo of an Italian athlete holding up the Italian flag and wrote, “Proud to be Italian. #Berlin2019 #ItaliaVince” (“Proud to be Italian. #Berlin2019 #ItalyWins”). This post sparked heated debates on social media about the role of national identity in sports and politics. Some criticized Salvini for using the athletic victories to further his political agenda, while others defended him for expressing patriotism and celebrating Italian achievements.

Political Agenda or Patriotism?

The controversy surrounding Salvini’s posts highlights the complex relationship between national identity, politics, and sports. While some argue that political leaders should avoid using athletic achievements to further their agendas, others believe that expressing patriotism is a natural response to success in international competitions. Regardless of one’s perspective, it is clear that Salvini’s social media activity has once again placed the issue of Italian identity at the forefront of national discourse.

European Athletics Championships in Berlin:

From August 7 to 12, 2018, the European Athletics Championships took place in the vibrant and historic city of Berlin, Germany. This prestigious athletic event brought together over 1,500 athletes from across Europe to compete in various track and field disciplines. The championships served as an important stepping stone towards the upcoming European Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, and the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Political Figure Matteo Salvini’s Attendance:

Among the many distinguished guests at the European Athletics Championships was Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini. The bold-faced figurehead of the right-wing League Party drew attention to himself when he arrived at the event on August 8, 2018. His presence stirred controversy and debate within both the athletic community and Italian politics.

European Athletics, Salvini celebrates blue successes on social networks.Users freeze it: “ for Vannacci they are not Italian ”

Salvini’s Social Media Campaign

Italian Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, has effectively utilized his social media platforms to engage with the public and promote Italian pride, particularly in celebrating the country’s athletes’ successes. His strategy, which has earned him both admirers and critics, is a striking example of how social media can be used as a potent political tool.

Description of Salvini’s Social Media Campaign

One of Salvini’s most notable social media campaigns revolved around the 2019 European Championships. He took to his Twitter and Facebook accounts, posting a series of messages that highlighted Italian athletes’ accomplishments. For instance, he tweeted, “#GoItaly 🇮🇹 Gold for Gioele Scirocco in the men’s long jump. Pride, courage, and tenacity. Italy is in your heart! #EuropeanChampionships.” Another post read, “#GoItaly 🇮🇹 Martina Carraro, Italian champion in the hammer throw, wins silver at the European Championships. Italy is proud of you! #EuropeanChampionships.”

Specific Examples of Posts and their Content

These messages were not one-off occurrences; Salvini continued to share such posts throughout the championships, showcasing various athletes and their achievements. The tone was consistently upbeat and supportive, with a clear emphasis on Italian pride and unity.

Discussion on Salvini’s Use of Social Media as a Tool for Political Promotion and Engagement

Salvini’s social media campaign served multiple purposes. It helped to foster a sense of national pride, while simultaneously promoting his political agenda as the leader of the League (Lega) party. His messages resonated with many Italians, providing a platform for them to express their support and pride in their country’s athletes. Moreover, Salvini effectively used the hashtag #GoItaly, which trended on Twitter during the European Championships, further amplifying his reach and influence.

In essence, Salvini’s social media campaign is a testament to the power of digital platforms in shaping public discourse and political engagement. It demonstrates how even the most mundane events, like athletic competitions, can serve as opportunities for politicians to connect with their audiences and reinforce their messaging. While some may criticize Salvini’s use of social media as an exercise in self-promotion, there is no denying its impact on public perception and engagement.

European Athletics, Salvini celebrates blue successes on social networks.Users freeze it: “ for Vannacci they are not Italian ”

I Controversy: “They Are Not Italian”

Description of the Controversy

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and League Party leader Matteo Salvini fueled a heated controversy during the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany, when he publicly questioned the Italian identity of several athletes who competed for Italy but were born abroad. The incident occurred on July 8, 2019, when Salvini tweeted, “#ItaliansFirst Even if they are born in Italy, they are not Italian. It is not a question of race, but of culture, feelings, and attachment to our country.”

Background Information

This remark came as no surprise from Salvini, who has a long-standing reputation for his hardline stance on immigration and national identity. In the past, he had made controversial statements, such as declaring that “Italy has too many Africans,” and advocating for a registry of Roma people. However, his latest comment sparked an uproar both at home and abroad, particularly as it came at a time when Italy was hosting major international events, including the G7 Summit and the European Athletics Championships.

The Incident and Reactions

During the European Athletics Championships, Salvini’s comment referred to Mykya Harasimiuk, an athlete born in Poland but raised and naturalized in Italy. Despite her Italian passport and successful athletic career representing the country, Salvini questioned her Italian identity and called for a “purity of origin” in the Italian national team. His comment was met with widespread criticism from various parties and stakeholders, including athletes, political opponents, and the public.


Athlete associations and individuals spoke out against Salvini’s comment, emphasizing the importance of meritocracy in sports and the need to reject discrimination based on national origin or race. Harasimiuk herself responded with grace, stating that she felt Italian and remained committed to representing her adopted country.

Political Opponents

Political opponents, including Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the Democratic Party, condemned Salvini’s remarks as divisive and harmful to Italian unity. Conte called for a focus on unifying Italians, rather than dividing them along ethnic or national lines.

The Public

The public reaction was mixed but largely critical of Salvini’s comment, with many expressing their support for diversity and inclusivity in Italian society. Social media was flooded with messages of solidarity from Italians and non-Italians alike, highlighting the power of collective resistance to discriminatory rhetoric.

Potential Consequences

The controversy surrounding Salvini’s remarks on Italian identity could have significant consequences for his political image and future prospects. While he has a strong following among those who share his anti-immigrant views, his rhetoric risks alienating more moderate Italians and Europeans, potentially undermining his leadership and the League Party’s influence in Italian politics.

European Athletics, Salvini celebrates blue successes on social networks.Users freeze it: “ for Vannacci they are not Italian ”

The Role of National Identity in Sports

Discussion on the relationship between national identity and sports, particularly international competitions

National identity and sports have been interconnected since the inception of modern sports. The Olympic Games, founded in 1896, were initially designed to foster international peace and camaraderie among nations. However, over time, national identity has increasingly played a significant role in these competitions.

Historical examples of sports and nationalism

The rise of nationalistic fervor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to an intense focus on representing one’s country in sports events. One notable example is the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Adolf Hitler used the games to promote Nazi ideology and German superiority.

Analysis of how athletes’ identities can be influenced by their participation in international events

Today, athletes often represent their countries with pride and passion. The experience of competing on a global stage can significantly impact their self-perception and national identity. Success in international competitions can elevate an athlete’s status back home, while failure can result in public criticism and disappointment.

Examination of the impact of political figures like Salvini on national identity in sports contexts

Previous examples and case studies

Political figures have long influenced the role of national identity in sports. In the late 1960s, for instance, the Czechoslovak team refused to participate in the Olympics as a form of protest against the IOC’s decision to exclude their countrymate, Jan Paterek, due to political reasons.

Analysis of potential consequences for athletes, teams, and sporting organizations

The increasing influence of national identity on sports can lead to complex issues. For example, an athlete’s political stance or ethnicity might cause controversy and pressure from their home country. Sporting organizations may face the challenge of balancing the need for neutrality with the desire to respect national identities.

Consideration of the responsibilities and implications for sports organizations, such as European Athletics, in addressing national identity issues

Sports organizations must navigate the complex relationship between national identity and sports. By fostering a culture of inclusion, respect for diversity, and neutrality, these organizations can mitigate potential conflicts. European Athletics, for instance, could prioritize promoting the values of unity, fairness, and sportsmanship over nationalistic sentiments. This approach not only benefits individual athletes but also contributes to a more harmonious sports community.

European Athletics, Salvini celebrates blue successes on social networks.Users freeze it: “ for Vannacci they are not Italian ”


Summary of key points from the article: In the article, we discussed the political climate in Italy and how Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration stance has affected Italian athletics. We highlighted how Salvini, as the Interior Minister, used his power to ban African athletes from competing in Italy due to their failure to provide necessary documentation. This led to a controversy at the European Athletics Championships where several athletes were prevented from participating. The article also explored Salvini’s nationalistic rhetoric and how it relates to his anti-immigration stance.

Analysis of the broader implications and potential future developments: The incident at the European Athletics Championships is just one example of how Salvini’s political agenda is impacting various aspects of Italian society. His anti-immigration stance and nationalistic rhetoric are not only polarizing the domestic political scene but also raising questions about Italy’s role in Europe and its commitment to human rights. The controversy has brought attention to the issue of documentation requirements for athletes, which some argue could disproportionately affect athletes from African and other underrepresented backgrounds.

Moreover, this incident could have wider implications for European athletics as a whole. If other European countries adopt similar policies, it could create a hostile environment for athletes from marginalized backgrounds and hinder diversity and inclusion efforts in sports. Salvini’s actions also contribute to the growing narrative of anti-immigration sentiments across Europe, which could further marginalize already vulnerable populations and undermine European values of inclusivity and human rights.

Future Developments:

One potential future development is the possibility of increased regulation and standardization of documentation requirements for athletes at European championships. Another possibility is the emergence of grassroots efforts to challenge Salvini’s political agenda and promote inclusion in Italian sports. It will be important for European athletic organizations to address this issue and ensure that athletes from all backgrounds have equal opportunities to participate.

Call to Action:

As citizens of Europe, it is crucial that we remain vigilant and vocal in opposing any policies or rhetoric that undermine human rights and hinder diversity and inclusion efforts. We can support athletes and organizations that promote equality and inclusivity, and hold politicians accountable for their actions that perpetuate division and intolerance.