With the passing of Gennaro, I have been left as the only witness of the games. It was only at his funeral that I learnt about his first time in the games. Initially, he was a great coach of young ice hockey players. He started umpiring out of necessity. There weren’t many referees and he started at the beginning. This was, like me, but several years later, with the development and dissemination of the disc on ice. When he was referee, he was the only referee.

One other example, when Gennaro drove his car, he knew almost nothing about the engine and how it was working. It was enough for him to know that pressing this button was to slow down and by pressing the other was to accelerate, etc etc. He was thinking of nothing beyond the essential. In other words, he was thinking in a simple way, even if everything was complicated.

Nowadays, in the middle of our complicated lives, not everyone can think simply. You have, however, to try. It is easier than you can think!

The interviews of recent times have brought back flashbacks in my mind - an enormous mass of memories came out of the window and when looking at the 'Memories of the Games' piece by Ezio Guidi a few days ago, I endeavoured to remember the rules of the games, then their evolution (somehow more complicated), until they were written down, rewritten... and agreed.

I must confirm here what I said in my interview with Carlo Conti: Jeux Sans Frontières was easy for us to arbitrate, because:

  • we made the rules;

  • in football and hockey, if you punish one team, you are doing so to safeguard the rights of the other team. In Jeux Sans Frontières, if we were punishing one team, we were doing so to safeguard the rights of 4 or 6 or more teams.

Thank you, Guido

G.M. 31.12.2010

by Guido Pancaldi
Jeux Sans Frontières International Referee
with grateful thanks to Gianni Magrin

English Translation by Christos Moustakas and Alan Hayes

Since writing this piece for all JSFnet sites, Guido Pancaldi has sadly died. He passed away on 4th October 2011 and will remain forever in the hearts of fans of Jeux Sans Frontières.