Eric Largeron, elected vice-president in charge of competition and padel at the FFT, spoke at the microphone of Padel Magazine on the occasion of P2000 of Caen.

The main changes to the FFT regulations

Like every year, there are updates and adjustments. One of the two most important being that currently, certain players can no longer play mixed doubles, we have a ranking limit for the mixed P250 towards the French women in the Top 100 and the French men in the Top 500. We will correct that, because for a sport which can become Olympic and for which there will certainly be a mixed event, that would be a shame.

The other point, the players will have to decide before October 31 for whom they will play interclub. We will have to know at the start of the season which club we are playing for, which will also impact the pairs championship and any regrettable last minute changes.

Too many Spaniards in interclubs?

It's a bit embarrassing when we pick up three or four Spaniards at the last minute to be champions. This is taking on somewhat unpleasant proportions. At the same time, there were excellent matches, some players had the opportunity to face big names.

Due to the Bosman ruling, we cannot prohibit foreigners from playing, that's normal. In rugby and tennis we have the notion of JIFF (Player from the Training Sector), it is necessary that at the level of padel we determine what a JIFF is and therefore give a mandatory number per club. Unlike tennis where we can rely on a more extensive history, padel we are perhaps considering a minimum number of participations in tournaments on French soil to be eligible for Interclubs.

France's ambitions

The main ambition is to ensure that the padel be recognized as a high-level sport in France. We have high-level athletes in the discipline, but there is a lack of this approval from the Ministry of Sports which would allow them to have facilities, assistance and to be recognized as a professional player in the sport. padel.

The first condition would be that the FIP includes enough federations. Certainly, it is developing strongly, but there are many territories, in Africa and Asia for example, which do not have federations. padel.

The other condition is the medals. The boys brought us one back at the last World Championships, which brings me back to our main goal: a medal at every competition.

The case of Benjamin Tison

We gave him the choice: either he continued his professional career, or we used his skills at the Federation, because he is a very thoughtful person who gives everything for his sport, and we knew that he would be very useful to the Federation. I also have a thought for Jérémy Scatena who also ended his international career, two significant losses for the France team.

Concerning Benjamin Tison, the problem that there may be padel, this is the conflict of interest. We quickly said to ourselves that we were going to avoid having a player who is in the Federation or in other cases who is a referee, referee or coach.

The juniors

We run national programs, groupings, national scholarships. We have Benjamin Tison and Alexia Dechaume who take care of the subject. We try to do what we can to provide the means to progress. We are late, but with the emergence of coaching diplomas and the education of clubs and structures, I know we will get there.

How can we deal with the “feminine evil”, the fact that there are fewer female players competing?

We have high-level players, but we have European championship titles in junior tennis. At padel, we are not yet. I think we are behind in the women's category, on the one hand compared to the boys, and on the other hand compared to the other nations, and that is more annoying.

Is the drop in the level due to the increase in P500 and P1000 good news?

When we call for applications, we have around 120-130 applications for 80-90 places. If we did less, it would disappoint many people and create frustration. With the creation of the P1500, the P1000 is no longer the same as before, but it was a desire.

On the P2000, the very best don't come because there are FIP tournaments everywhere. If it happens again, we will have to ask ourselves the right questions, because we support the FIP so that the players can shine internationally.

The future of FFT Padel Tour

Like the CNGT in tennis where the organization is entrusted to the clubs, perhaps in a few months, the P2000 will be managed by the clubs, many of which have proven that they are capable of doing things well, particularly on the P1500.

When do we see you at a tournament?

There was a bug in my ranking, since I was assimilated 7000 because of my distant past as a second series tennis player. Except that this past is so distant that I shouldn't have any assimilation normally!

I am aware of my limits, I do not have the level of a player ranked 7000e. Now that it's regulated, I'm going to start again with P25 and P100 which suit me very well, both in spirit and in play!

Martin Schmuda

A competitive tennis player, Martin discovered the padel in 2015 in Alsace and appeared in a few tournaments in Paris. Today a journalist, he deals with current affairs padel while continuing its rise in the world of the little yellow ball!