Back on behind the scenes of the European Championships Padel 2021. A competition where France shone and where nations have come together. But the organization has often been singled out.

In this series of posts around these European Championships, Benjamin TisonThe 81e WPT player, one of the executives of the France team, gives us his opinion on this week in Marbella.

First part of his testimony on the double confrontation France vs Spain.

We were in the Mecca of padel and yet ...

“These European Championships padel promised to be a great feast for the nations. The competition took place in Spain, in Marbella, the Mecca of padel.

The institutions promised us a great show and optimal organization. Spain seemed to have all the cards in hand to offer us an exceptional competition.

No more masks (except indoors), the public was welcome, the city was swarming with people, life was resuming, nothing seemed to be able to hinder the general functioning of the competition.

New nations joined in the feast for the first time.

FEPA (European Federation of Padel) and the FIP (International Federation of Padel) even managed not to redo the blow of 2019 with 2 European Championships of padel the same week.

We could surf the boom in our sport in Europe.

And yet, I think there is a general disappointment among the players about this event. ”

The impact of the counterproductive sanction

team france men marbella

“This year, we understand that the FIP had delegated all or part of the organization of these European Championships to the Andalusian Federation (FAP).

Public chat Padel Magazine, we learned that the role of FIP (International Federation of Padel) and some FEP (Spanish Federation of Padel) was limited and thus they were not directly responsible. 

On the spot, in any case, for the players, it was a little complicated to understand who was doing or not doing.

The main European nations were present this time (except Portugal unfortunately). Spain, best European nation, was there unlike the 2019 edition.

To sanction the Spaniards for having played the European Championships of padel of FEPA 2 years ago, it is understood that the FIP decided not to make them seed 1.

A harmful sanction for the competition: cAs if this decision could have any impact on Spanish ambitions.

It is a nation apart, which crushes the competition for the moment, whatever its positioning.

Believing to sanction Spain in this way, it actually directly sanctioned a seed of his hen who would therefore end up with Spain. This decision has certainly partly unbalanced this competition."

France strangely plays Spain twice

“France will inherit Spain in its hen. As a result, France had no chance of being first in the pool.

That was the bright side: France was meant to be protected from another confrontation against Spain until the eventual final.

In addition, the President of the FIP, Luigi Carraro confirmed to us (to the players of the France team) after the group matches that it was indeed “impossible that 2 teams present in the same group could meet again before the final ”, as in all other sports in the world.

Draw: and a potential new France / Spain in the semi-finals. ”

Where are the regulations?

“We appeal to the organizers, who suddenly referred to a regulation, nowhere to be found, which allows such a confrontation.

Simple twist, because it's always a pleasure to play against the best players in Europe.

But sportingly, is it normal to play Spain twice in this configuration? Could the organizers not correct this aberration?

In the end, the France team did the maximum with good confrontations including that against Sweden for this 3e up and we had the honor of playing Spain twice.

But France is a competitor and as the captain of the Italian team says so well Gustavo spector : “A European championship without our France / Italy is not really a European championship”. ”

Franck Binisti

Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Club des Pyramides in 2009 in the Paris region. Since padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France going to cover the major events of padel French.