This weekend in Lisbon, during the World Padel Tour Challenger tournament, many leaders of the global institutional padel met on the initiative of the Presidents of the Spanish Federation and the Portuguese Federation as well as Fabrice Pastor, the CEO of Monte-Carlo International Sport (MCIS).
This gathering was the focal point of various initiatives aimed at the creation of continental federations:
- European Padel Federation
- North American Federation
- Federation of South America
The aim of this big meeting was also to take stock of the international atmosphere around the padel and the relations of these new structures with the International Padel Federation (FIP).
Starting point: A disagreement with "the current FIP"
We remember that similar discussions during the previous European Championship at the end of 2017, still in Lisbon, could not be concluded, mainly because of differences of opinion between the instigators of the project (Portugal & Spain) and the president of the FIP ( International Federation of Padel), Daniel Patti.
Far from being discouraged, the people behind the project Ricardo da Silva Oliveira (Portugal) & Alfredo Garbisu (Spain) returned to the charge with a more global project, but without consultation with the International Federation of Padel.
The European Padel Federation: "Soon a reality"
Philippe Cerfont, president of the French-speaking association of padel in Belgium and one of the pillars of the future European Federation of padel explain to us :
The European Padel Federation will soon be a reality. The creation of the EPA (European Padel Association) is imminent and will bring together at least 13 European Federations (with the notable exception of France and Italy) but with Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Great Britain , Holland, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland in particular.
For the moment a few countries are therefore missing, including two major snowshoeing countries: France and Italy. Philippe Cerfont adds:
We will work with the different institutions to try to integrate them in this European Federations of Padel.
The Padel Ryder Cup, a project maybe for next year
The President of the French speaking padel Federation in Belgium also tells us that:
The EPA has some great projects in the cards, including a kind of golf-style Ryder Cup where the best players from European countries would meet their South American counterparts, a more attractive European Championship of Nations, new formats of European championships and various initiatives around the training of teachers, referees and young people.
Towards a transfer of power to FIP?
The overall idea of all these new Federations is to present a more united padel front through the different federative levels. A convergence of views would indeed be welcome between the new continental associations, the national federations and the FIP to face the numerous challenges induced by the exponential growth of our sport.
It can be read between the lines that these evolutions will undoubtedly go through a change of leadership within the FIP.
Mr. Pastor, who seems supported by a large majority of federations, presented a project of professionalization of international structures "which will allow a faster development of the padel in the world ".
The merger of some Tennis / Padel Federations with the ITF
Patricia Froissart, already informed us of the meetings of the FFT with Tennis Europe (and thus indirectly with the ITF: International Tennis Federation). She considered that a rapprochement of the FFT concerning the padel with the ITF was "in the boxes".
The Olympic sport padel?
In focus, the official international recognition of the padel within GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations), an organization in which the padel already has observer status today. The ultimate goal is to see the padel be among the Olympic sports in 2028!
Remember that France is already working on it.
Several organizations for the promotion of padel
The discussions between the different actors will probably begin quickly to work on a constructive transition for the FIP leadership ...
Different organizations are in the game to represent and promote the padel ...
In a sense, it is rather very positive, since we see many actors wanting to represent and promote the world padel. The task will be in any way not obvious, as there are things to do. But our great opportunity is the incredible development of this sport on all continents.
Institutions and organizations have a real nugget in their hands and hopefully they will all agree to make this sport a must-have sport in the global sports landscape.
Photo credit: Monte Carlo International Sports
Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Pyramid Club in 2009 in the Paris region. Since then padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France by going to cover the big French paddle events.