“Sergio Afric non ha un grosso mercato in Italia” – Marco RissoTuesday, August 24, 2010, 21:03
The controversy in the ASA on the national coach selection seems to have no end and in fact this took an interesting twist yesterday evening when San Giljan coach Marco Risso gave his version of events. The latest act in this whole saga played itself out on prime time television, when Risso was contacted live during the weekly water polo TV programme Man Up+ on NET Television. Early in July sportinmalta.com had exclusively revealed that the ASA was in contact with Risso for a possible substitution on the national team bench.
The outspoken Italian said that back in March, he was contacted by the ASA, just before the national team was leaving for Istanbul to take part in the European Championships. Risso said that the fact that the ASA contacted him was due to the serious problems that existed in the national team, but he refused the offer as he was still under contract in Italy and asked to be contacted in May.
According to Risso, the ASA contacted him once again in May while he was still coaching his Serie A side in the championship finals. A formal proposal by the ASA was presented to him in June. This full time offer came at a time when another 5 or 6 clubs were after his signature, offering him lucrative contracts that were financially much better than the ASA’s, but he was still interested in taking the job.
Risso told the ASA that he could be the national team only on a part-time basis, and in the process had refused contracts with three Serie A sides and eventually signed for Torino. The ASA opted to go for a full-time coach, and the choice fell on Afric.
At this point in the live interview, Marco Risso got one back on Afric when he said “Sergio Afric non ha un grosso mercato in Italia … anzi direi che non ha piu di una goccia” (Sergio Afric is not very sought after in Italy, not more than a drop of water)
He concluded by complementing the ASA for its choice and wished Sergio Afric the best of luck.
Earlier, Afric had alleged that it was not the ASA who had approached Risso, but it was the Italian who had put his name forward to the ASA for consideration.