WPA issues statement regarding Philippine Politics

The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) wishes to state its position and view regarding the recent events in the Philippines between the Billiard Managers and Professional Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and the Billiards & Snooker Confederation of Philippines (BSCP), and the WPA World 9-Ball and Ten Ball Championships. This current dispute is a local issue and should be retained as such and those involved should not try to implicate or use other entities or events as a means of gaining some form of upper-hand.

The WPA only has continents as members, not individual countries. With regards to Asia, our member is the Asian Pocket Billiard Union (APBU). It holds as a priority to become a member that the national organization has recognition of its National Olympic Committee (NOC). In the Philippines this recognition was granted for the BSCP. The APBU, same as other continental members, has only one member per country.

The WPA is concerned that the dispute that currently exists could have a detrimental effect on either or both upcoming Championship events that are scheduled for the Philippines. There are factors external to the Philippines to be considered.  International players want to be assured that these WPA World Championship events are going to take place. At a time when air fares are ever increasing, players need to make their travel arrangements as early as possible to take advantage of the best offers from airlines. Delayed booking could mean a player not being able to afford the higher priced ticket, losing the opportunity to participate and lessening the value of the tournament by his absence.

Consideration should be given for all of the players who have no involvement with the problems in the Philippines, who only want to participate and seek the opportunity of becoming a World Champion at these two prestigious tournaments. Talks of boycotts and running a rival tournament at the same time of the World Ten Ball Championship are contrary to the best interest of the sport and the international community. Targeting any WPA event with an action designed to sabotage it will be deemed hostile toward the WPA, who would reluctantly be forced to take whatever action it felt necessary.

It is part of the WPA Agreements with the promoters of both the 9-Ball World Championship and the Ten Ball World Championship that players competing must be in good standing with their own national federations.

Any possible event cancellation would result in dire consequences for our sport. The effect for television networks of a cancellation of a planned event due to domestic disputes would risk their future participation in billiards. This and denying the players the chance to compete for prize money of $800,000 is just too high of a price to pay over local disputes.

Therefore the WPA urges the two parties to put aside their differences, allow these two events to take place as scheduled without any further threats and find a way to settle their dispute without trying to involve and thereby jeopardize tournaments that are not the property of either party. We can then have all the best players available playing and doing what they do best. It cannot possibly be in the best interests of players to deny them this opportunity.

Ian Anderson
WPA President