The relationship between the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the International Billiards and Snooker Federation has been strained again following the release of more statements effectively attacking one another.
With the inaugural championships of the World Snooker Federation, a sub-body of the WPBSA, set to commence next week in Malta, the IBSF announced on Monday that they “cannot accept that countries may be members of another body claiming to be a World Snooker Federation…that may perform the functions of the IBSF.”
“Countries who join any other body claiming to be a World Snooker Federation or other similar federation…may be subject to sanction according to the IBSF Constitution.
“The IOC and NOC (National Olympic Committee) will also not accept countries to be members of two International Federations for the same sport.
“For future IBSF events, the IBSF may refuse entry from any country who is a member of another body claiming to be a World Federation for Snooker/Billiards or both.”
The WSF and WPBSA responded on Thursday to express “regret” concerning the “aggressive and misleading nature of the public statement of the IBSF.”
The reply continued: “The WSF is a properly constituted and legally registered not for profit international federation for snooker and billiards.”
“The reason for its formation, as well as its aims and objectives, were set out in a public statement on 27 October 2017 – which can be accessed HERE.
“We accept that it is ultimately a matter for the IBSF as to whether or not it accepts members who are also members of the WSF.
“However, the WSF does not discriminate in this way and welcomes all national and regional federations to apply for membership and join the significant number of federations globally, which are already members of the WSF.
“The IBSF has no legal or other right to assert that it is the only international federation for snooker.
“It is also incorrect for the IBSF to state that the IOC prevents national or regional federations from being a member of more than one international federation.
“The IOC will, however, only formally recognise one international federation for any given sport. For billiard sports, the WCBS is currently the only IOC recognised international federation.
“The IBSF itself holds no IOC recognition or association, contrary to their implication.
“The snooker member of the WCBS is the WSF, as explicitly set out in the WCBS Constitution adopted on the 24th April 2013 – which can be accessed HERE.
“Furthermore, the establishment of a formally registered WSF has in fact been encouraged for a number of years by the WCBS itself.”
The tit-for-tat prolongs a feud that dates back to last summer during the World Games in Poland, when the IBSF and WPBSA suffered a high-profile and public fallout that resulted in the latter breaking away with its formation of the WSF.
While WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson claimed on a recent interview with Snooker Scene’s David Hendon that around 50 federations had signed up with the WSF, only 27 countries will be represented in the upcoming WSF Championships.
However, the fact that the first edition of the Championships was organised pretty hastily in the last few months, and with Main Tour cards and places in the qualifying rounds of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield being made available, one would suspect that the WSF is holding the right cards in the long run.
Either way, it’s a messy affair that shows no sign of an amicable resolution any time soon, with the once powerful IBSF seemingly not willing to let their dated stranglehold of the global amateur scene go without a fight.