Since 2020, theFrench-speaking Tennis Association (AFT) and theFrench-speaking association of Padel (AFP) are at war to become the official federation of Padel French-speaking in Belgium. After working hand in hand for many years, the AFT wanted to take over the reins of padel while the AFP wanted to emancipate itself and become the official federation.
Last November, the previous Minister of Sports, Valérie Glatigny, had confirmed the recognition until 2024 of the AFT, following the opinion of the Superior Sports Council (CSS). Dissatisfied with this decision, the AFP appealed this decision twice.
After resuming the file, and a new opinion requested from the CSS, the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) decided Thursday not to review its decision. The AFT is therefore guaranteed to remain the official federation until the end of 2024. The government justified this decision by ensuring that the AFT met the criteria more than the AFP: number of affiliated clubs, better geographical coverage, etc.
But these last elements are not so clear.
Convinced of “win this war“, it's a cold shower for the AFP in this case which has been going on for a year. The new Minister of Sports, Pierre-Yves Jeholet, announced that he wanted to meet the two parties, with a view to easing tensions. He also wanted to add that calm needed to return so that the two actors could work together on the development of the padel, for the good of clubs and players.
Despite this decision, the government wanted to reassure: the decision in no way prejudges the examination of future requests for official recognition for post-2024.
For the moment, neither organization has communicated on the subject.