Earlier this week the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association released a statement distancing itself from the International Billiards and Snooker Federation.
The WPBSA took the extreme measure following what it stated was “an inappropriate and unconstitutional attempt by some members of the International Billiards and Snooker Association (IBSF) to control seats within the World Confederation of Billiards Sports.”
In response, a reply from the IBSF has made its way onto Facebook, though hasn’t yet been posted on the amateur association’s website or own social media pages.
What has been published on the IBSF website, however, is news of a reported change in the board for the World Confederation of Billiards Sports, with a General Assembly and Executive Committee meeting alleged to have taken place last Friday during the World Games in Poland.
The WCBS is an umbrella corporation encompassing all major cue sports, which has had a primary aim in recent years of its mission to elevate snooker, pool, and carom to the status of an Olympic sport.
The IBSF article reports that, in their General Assembly in Wroclaw, Australian Ian Anderson was promoted from Treasurer to President, while WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson, who had held the position of President since 2015, was demoted to board member level.
IBSF President Mubarak Al-Khayarin will seemingly take up a new position as Vice-President of the WCBS alongside Farouk El Barki.
The lengthy letter that was posted on Facebook’s Irish Amateur Snooker Banter Page, and which was originally sent to all the IBSF member federations, also then goes into quite an amount of detail as to the IBSF’s own misgivings with regard the WPBSA over the last couple of years.
“We at IBSF feel responsible to explain to you the circumstances of what happened between IBSF and WPBSA recently,” opened the statement.
“Both parties signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) in 2013 to cooperate and establish World Snooker Federation (WSF) as a representative of snooker in the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS).
“After almost four years, WSF could not form a legal status for snooker. We were expecting WSF to be a legal world confederation, and the status of snooker is still not legalized in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other institutions.
“WPBSA did several acts against the interests of the IBSF member countries, for instance:
– WPBSA interfered in the internal affairs of IBSF more than once.
– WPBSA did not abide by its agreement with IBSF and it continued interfering in the internal affairs of some IBSF member countries and continental federations.
– WPBSA extended financial and media aid to several organizations to organize events, world women championships and English Billiards championship, which acted against the interests of IBSF.
– WPBSA did not try to support IBSF or continental federations with regard to the wild cards and spots for the IBSF players in the 6-Red Championship for professionals.
– WPBSA continued to make IBSF champions to sign unfair contracts to grant them wild cards without considering the interests of their national federations.
“Considering the above mentioned facts and many other issues which are out of the scope of this letter, WPBSA tried to make the WSF a private company registered in London.”
“IBSF considered that if this was permitted to happen it puts an end to the IBSF. So, we felt responsible to guard the interests of IBSF and its members.”
The statement later reads: “During the World Games in Poland recently, WPBSA tried to get our approval for separation from the WCBS and shape a new federation away from the World Poolbilliard Association (WPA) and Union Mondiale de Billiard (UMB).
“The WPBSA had already disrupted our relations with the WPA and UMB who are partners in the WCBS, which is the official confederation to deal with the IOC.
“Despite all the above, we have done our duty to protect the status of snooker with IOC and its entities, and to correct what had been ruined by WPBSA during the past two years.
“Notwithstanding, IBSF were willing to keep the WPBSA representative in the WCBS board, but WPBSA wants to impose its conditions on IBSF in choosing the IBSF representatives in the WCBS.
“We were surprised with the WPBSA’s approach during the recent days. IBSF is an officially registered international sports federation, hence, we will not show abrupt reactions, but we will certainly do what we have to do very soon.
“We will advise and inform the concerned authorities of international sports establishments, National Olympic Committees, and international media, that the IBSF rights are reserved as the Sole Official International Governing Body of snooker worldwide.”
The saga continues.