Jason Ferguson, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman, has taken aim at the recent failure of cue sports’ bid to gain Olympic status.
A cue sport proposal for snooker, pool, and carom to be included in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games was rejected in February by the International Olympic Committee.
Instead, it was decided that niche sports skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing, and breakdancing would be considered as possible new events in France in five years.
Ferguson, who is also the president of the World Snooker Federation, blamed other governing bodies for the failed submission.
The former snooker professional was quoted in the China Daily as saying that Paris was a “golden opportunity wasted.”
Umbrella organisation World Confederation of Billiards Sports was tasked with delivering a compelling plan for the Paris 2024 committee.
“It’s disappointing for me as a promoter and the head of snooker’s world governing body to see billiard sports fail to meet the standards of management that I expect,” said the former world number 28.
“For me, the 2024 bid was very weak. It was controlled by all the other cue sports; we had little involvement.
“The WCBS, in our view, is not fit to carry our sport into the Olympic Games. We believe major reforms are necessary.”
While Ferguson doesn’t believe that a bid for the 2028 Los Angeles Games is realistic, the Englishman is still hoping to succeed in his overall mission to eventually see snooker heralded as an Olympic sport.
The 2032 Games seems to be a more reachable target now and Ferguson is hoping that China will seek to gain more influence when the time comes to launch another bid.
“China is a very strong nation in terms of IOC support, and I think China could lead our Olympic bid.
“In fact, if we take the people at the top of the table today, we have the WPBSA, the CBSA (Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association) and Xingpai Group.
“That team could drive our Olympic bid for snooker.”
China has become one of snooker’s leading countries in terms of events staged and players produced.
On Sunday, Neil Robertson and Jack Lisowski contest the China Open final, a £1 million tournament in Beijing in which £225,000 will be awarded to the champion.