By Paul Osborne

Dr Matteo Pellicone President of FIJLKAM has died at the age of 78December 10 - Matteo Pellicone, President of the Italian Federations for judo, wrestling, karate and martial arts (FIJLKAM) and vice-president of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), has died aged 78.

Pellicone passed away yesterday morning following a long term illness.

The news of his passing was announced on the Italian Federation's website where they released following statement:

"With deep sorrow, the Federation announced that President Matteo Pellicone left us in the early hours of the morning.

"His passing leaves a great void in the world of sport that has had in her figure, humanly passionate and sporting authority, a great reference point.

"You can ask him a final farewell at the hall of the Council of the Olympic Centre of Ostia, which will be staged the funeral home."

Pellicone played a major role in securing wrestling's re-insertion to the Olympic Programme ©FILAPellicone played a major role in helping secure wrestling's future on the Olympic programme after it had been originally been recommended to be dropped after Rio 2016 ©FILA

Pellicone had served as head of FIJLKAM for 32 years, the longest serving President of any Italian sports federation.

He was first elected in March 1981, with his final re-election taking place in December 2012 for the next Olympic cycle.

He was forced to step down from his role in November of this year due to his condition worsening.

Pellicone will be well remembered for his vital work at both national and international level.

He played a vital role in securing the construction of the Olympic Centre in Ostia, Rome -headquarters of FIJLKAM - as well fighting for the participation of women in Olympic sports, most notably judo and wrestling.

He also helped FILA in their attempts to ensure that wrestling remained on the Olympic programme after it been controversially recommended that it should be dropped after Rio 2016. 

On hearing the news of his passing, FILA posted a statement on their website which read: "FILA has been informed with great sadness of the passing away, this morning, of its vice-president, Dr Matteo Pellicone, also President of the Italian Wrestling Federation.

"Our thoughts and sincere condolences go to Mr Pellicone's family and close friends."

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