Since the beginning of the year, the threat hangs over the World Padel Tour. Since yesterday, it's now official, the FIP has announced the launch of a new International circuit which will be, according to Luigi Carraro "the only official circuit of our sport".

An announcement very widely followed and supported by many players of padel, including those of the Association of Professional Players of padel (PPA).

Le World Padel Tour claimed on January 20, 2022 to be ready to “take legal action"against players who"violate the exclusivity obligation".

Will he go all the way or will he back down against QSI / FIP / PPA and will he accept this new competition?

WPT threats

In an open letter, dated January 20, le World Padel Tour came out of his silence to react to the announcements of the creation of a circuit in parallel to his.

This letter was addressed directly to the players and the circuit recalled that “for a player who occupies a position in the WPT ranking between 1 and 20, there is an obligation of exclusivity of the activity of player of padel, so you will not be able to participate in any circuit, championship, tournament or sporting event, with the sole exception of those belonging to the categories expressly provided for in your contract. For players who occupy a position in the WPT rankings from 21, they are free to participate in any circuit, tournament, championship or event of padel, as long as you do not do so during the 7 days before and the 7 days after a WPT competition. » 

When we know that there is almost a tournament of padel every two weeks, this effectively amounts to prohibiting them from playing elsewhere. And the players clearly did not appreciate this behavior of the WPT at all, which they qualified as "inappropriate". 

The letter stated that “Participation in the aforementioned parallel circuit would be in direct breach of this exclusivity obligation. In the event of non-compliance with one of the obligations, we will have no choice but take legal action against you to defend our rights and the value of the WPT Tour. "

In the letter, it was said that claims for damages could be requested, up to 300 to 000 euros per player. 

Threats to punishment?

This letter was certainly intended to dissuade players from joining this new circuit. But during the official announcement, we learned that the players' association (PPA) supported this new international circuit. This letter probably had the opposite effect, “disgusting” even more WPT players.

Some of the very best players in the world, including Ale Galan, Paquito Navarro and Fernando Belasteguin, would have agreed to play the circuit launched this season. But can the WPT really sanction players for joining this new competition?

Direct consequence of the announcement of this new QSI / FIP circuit: the WPT not only no longer has a monopoly on the professional circuit, but it is losing some of the confidence of its allies.

Attacking players: a very dangerous game

If you World Padel Tour "take legal action against the players to defend their rights and the value of the WPT circuit”, this could actually signify the end of this circuit.

How could these players then participate in a circuit that takes them to court? And what image would the WPT convey by doing so? 

The WPT could sign its end by filing a complaint against people who have been supporting their economy for almost 10 years.

We don't know yet how this season will go. padel, the silence of the WPT does not help. With the Miami tournament whose pre-previa starts on February 14, many Internet users are asking about the following events.

  • "What if the players don't show up?"
  • “Is the WPT still in a strong position?”

The cancellation of the Miami Open seems highly unlikely. The organizers are ready. It will be a big party padel. And in the event that all the players do not show up, is it really so serious for the spectators?

At this stage, mediation between the main parties concerned seems the best option, but is it possible?

Unless the WPT surprises with new announcements. His mail to gamers might “force players to come whether they want to or not“. What do you think ?

Thomas Jay

After being rocked by tennis for nearly 15 years, I became an absolute fan of its cousin, the padel. For nearly a year now, I've been chasing the little yellow ball with another racquet, but with just as much passion! Based in Lyon, I intend to make you better acquainted with the padel in the region and on a national level.