The rolling saga between the numerous and often confusing number of governing bodies, international federations, and anything else with an acronym within cue sports took another twist on Thursday.
The World Confederation of Billiards Sports – an umbrella organisation that represents the cue sports of snooker, pool, and carom – released a statement that distances itself from the World Snooker Federation.
The WSF, originally imagined a number of years ago in conjunction with both the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the International Billiards and Snooker Federation, was properly initiated by the former late last year as a suitable replacement for global amateur snooker.
This escalated after a high-profile and frequently messy fallout between the WPBSA and the IBSF, which had traditionally been responsible for the amateur game around the world.
The split has been very public with numerous statements, often ridiculous and increasingly of a “he said, she said” nature, being launched – all the while increasing the tension in the political sphere of the sport and sometimes at the expense of the emerging players themselves.
While the WSF clearly has mostly good intentions in the long run, and its current inaugural staging of the WSF Championships this month could potentially be a positive step in the future growth and development of the game at the grassroots level, it’s obvious that neither it, its parent association the WPBSA, or the IBSF have painted themselves in an especially good light and a distinct lack of transparency continues to exist behind the scenes.
As recently as last week, the WPBSA insisted, as it has done since the very beginning of this saga last summer, that the WSF was the official snooker member of the WCBS Constitution.
However, the WCBS has now thrown an additional spanner into the works by claiming that, basically, too much has changed in the meantime to truly consider the WSF as the same association that was originally outlined five years ago.
On Thursday, the WCBS said: “Since 2013, the WCBS members are Union Mondiale de Billard (UMB), World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and World Snooker Federation (WSF).”
“At that time, the WSF was introduced in the WCBS Constitution in order to represent snooker and replace the IBSF.
“It was promised at the time by the IBSF and WPBSA that an Agreement to create a new organisation was imminent.
“On this basis, the WCBS accepted the word of those two snooker groups and made the name change in the Constitution from IBSF to WSF.
“In Summer 2017, the board of the WCBS was informed that the Agreement between IBSF and WPBSA never materialised.
“Due to the short timeframe, the names remains in our Constitution as the snooker member being the WSF.
“The only WSF that the WCBS was to recognise was the one that was being formulated in 2013 between the IBSF and WPBSA, not any other.
“Regarding to the decision taken in 2013 and the current dispute between IBSF and WPBSA, the WCBS has no other choice to find that the WSF as it was intended in 2013 doesn’t exist, which means the only snooker groups that the WCBS is able to acknowledge are the IBSF and WPBSA.
“In order to clarify the situation and to amend the WCBS Constitution, the board will call an extraordinary general assembly.”
What way that meeting will go obviously remains to be seen and it’s very possible that the outcome might be that the WCBS will simply recognise the newer version of the WSF instead.
Yet, the question has to be asked why, if there was ever any doubt whatsoever, the WPBSA continuously stressed that its own WSF was a member of the WCBS, when clearly there was the risk of an announcement like this backfiring against them?
One suspects there’s a long way to go before there’s a proper resolution in place for this fiasco.