Valentina Vezzali, front left, won six Olympic gold medals in fencing ©FITA

Six-time Olympic gold medallist and undersecretary for sport Valentina Vezzali was a guest of honour as the Italian Taekwondo Federation (FITA) Federal Council met in-person for the first time in almost two years.

Vezzali, who does not hold the same title but effectively succeeded Vincenzo Spadafora as Sports Minister in March, was invited by FITA President Angelo Cito.

National team athletes including Vito Dell'Aquila, winner of the men's under-58-kilogram gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, were also on hand at the FITA headquarters in Rome to meet Vezzali.

Vezzali stressed the important role elite athletes can play in boosting grassroots sport, especially when they are given visibility.

She also congratulated Cito on being re-elected as a European Taekwondo Union vice-president, FITA said.

A fencing star, Vezzali won nine Olympic foil medals in all, including individual golds at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Vito Dell'Aquila won Italy's lone taekwondo medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Vito Dell'Aquila won Italy's lone taekwondo medal at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Aside from welcoming Vezzali, the Federal Council took decisions on the FITA calendar and membership fees.

Affiliation fees paid before the end of the year will also be valid for the entirety of 2022, FITA has decided.

Junior and senior National Championships in October and November have been approved by the Federal Council.

It has also committed to staging National Poomsae Championships in December.