Italy’s enthusiasm over its Olympics success, driven in part by multicultural athletes, has once again reignited debate over its citizenship law and the bureaucratic hurdles faced by thousands of young people.

The debate comes on the heels of Italy’s best performance in history at the Olympic Games, with 40 gold medals from a diverse band of athletes from a variety of backgrounds, including the country’s new star, Texas-born sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs. 

The debate was sparked anew after the head of Italy’s National Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, complained of the bureaucratic headaches confronting Italian-born athletes who want to compete for their country, but lack citizenship. 

Under its current path to citizenship, Italy is an outlier in Europe, providing rights based on blood ties rather than based on where children are born - an idea known as “ius soli”, or “right of the soil”.

Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.