Shortly before the semi-finals, Luigi Carraro, the president of the International Federation of Padel, appeared in front of journalists, in Doha, to answer their questions. Obviously, with this season coming up exceptional from all points of view, many points were raised and the president of the FIP took the time to answer as many questions as possible.

Several points to remember, the day after this press conference. Between arbitration – often singled out –, the LeBron affair, the 2024 calendar, the appearance of the UPT or even the disappearance of golden point… A look back at the words of President Luigi Carraro.

The calendar and Spain

One of the first questions focused on the calendar and the few tournaments in Spain, the historic cradle of padel. Luigi Carraro's response is coherent when we see the direction in which the padel : sport must internationalize. This therefore goes through stages in countries where the sport is not yet very widespread… we are talking about Saudi Arabia, Germany, and many others.

He also wanted to emphasize that he wanted a complete calendar, with 25 tournaments, because the last two years have been complicated for the players, who have navigated between Premier Padel and World Padel Tour.

To end on this subject, he recalled that Spain would host, this year, no less than 4 stages FIP Platinum (the highest stage of the Cupra FIP).

Luigi Carraro: “We have decided to limit the number of tournaments that make up the calendar. We did it because respect and attention to athletes remains an essential element. The players have experienced two very long seasons, 2022 and 2023, and in agreement with them we have agreed to limit the number of tournaments. We have decided to cap the number of tournaments for all countries precisely in the name of the consideration we have for the players."

Refereeing errors

Luigi Carraro showed up very caring about the referees. Indeed, the president of the FIP wished to recall that the federation, like all the people who constitute it and contribute within it, is still in full development.

Regarding the referees, he would like to point out that at each tournament, the organization tries to involve local players, or those from the surrounding area. Obviously, everything is never perfect, like in many sports, but that doesn't mean it's bad. On the contrary, he wants each person to learn from their mistakes, so that the federation grows... but also the referees.

Here is the passage in question: "The referees ? When we go to countries we always try to use those from neighboring or local countries because it is important and we also like to develop this aspect, working on the overall growth and development of the refereeing team. There have certainly been mistakes, but the important thing is to accept them and use them as opportunities to improve things.. "

The Juan LeBron affair

No one is ignorant about the controversy that there was at the Qatar Major, so much ink has been spilled. Lebron's gesture, its possible disqualification. Finally, El Lobo only received a single warning although he completely came out of his match… Obviously, we are waiting to see if Juan Lebron will receive a disciplinary sanction – Franco Stupaczuk votes for – but Luigi Carraro showed up very measured on the subject.

The president of the FIP did not want to overwhelm Juan Lebron but rather… find excuses for him. Luigi Carraro was keen to point out that, under the pressure of the stakes of a Major, tension can mix with the desire to win. He also pointed out that Lebron apologized on Instagram, a “strong gesture” according to him. The president's speech can, in a sense, invalidate a sanction from Lebron... To be continued.

Luigi Carraro: “I know that when they play, athletes want to win. And also because it is a Major which earns 2.000 points. So there is a lot of tension, adrenaline, the desire to win, elements that can come out during a match. Moreover, the coach of Yanguas and Garrido [editor’s note Juani Mieres] was a player until a few months ago and I think he experienced this challenge. Rather, I want to point out that Lebron's public apology is the strongest message that could have come from this episode."

The 2024 World Championships

While the dates and locations of the European Championships and Senior+ world championships have been announced, we only know the date on which the 2024 world championships will take place: from October 28 to November 2 next.

So there is no location for the event yet. Although we hear rumors about Qatar (like in 2021), nothing has yet been confirmed by the FIP, which should give the location during this month.

Luigi Carraro: "By the end of March, we will announce the location of the next FIP ​​World Championships Padel. We are pleased by the interest shown by so many countries in hosting it. I can guarantee that it will be a fantastic event, as special as any, in a season in which we will organize the FIP European Championships in Cagliari, Sardinia, which will have the same organization as the World Championships ."

The emergence of the UPT

Asked about the new Ultimate circuit Padel Tour, present in Spain, Luigi Carraro was quite evasive on the question. In fact, he simply informed not be in contact with the circuit and that there were no discussions, as might have been the case at the start of last season, between Premier Padel and World Padel Tour.

The president of the FIP nevertheless added that he was not against the appearance of new tournaments, as long as they respect the established laws…

"We count [editor’s note the FIP] a large number of competitions, from the Majors to the FIP Promotion, including world and European team competitions, from Juniors to Seniors: I keep repeating that anyone who wants to organize a tournament can do so. The important thing is the agreement with the national federation and compliance with the rules of the FIP. "

The disappearance of golden point

Regarding the disappearance of golden point, the president of the FIP estimated that the federation had taken the right decision from a sporting point of view, although he can understand that some Aficionados of sport are disappointed by the disappearance of this emblematic rule of padel.

Luigi Carraro nevertheless recalled that on the Cupra FIP Tour, the rule was still applied. A way of reassuring that this rule will not disappear. He even added that he was not not excluded that she could come back one day…

Luigi Carraro: "We made the decision to use the advantage system with the players. Premier Padel is a special circuit: some would prefer the Golden Point, others prefer the advantages, but for the moment I think it remains the best system. But if we see in the future that we need to change something, we will study the best option for the sport, the fans and the television channels.”

The new partnership with Red Bull TV

Finally, Luigi Carraro wanted to say a word about the recent partnership between Premier Padel and Red Bull TV. A collaboration, he hopes, which will bring padel in a new era… and above all, internationalize sport!

Luigi Carraro: "When we started the project Premier Padel, one of our objectives was to bring the padel to a new level and a new era. I think that the entire management of Premier Padel does a great job: Premier Padel is broadcast in 187 countries, which was unthinkable just a few years ago. […] I think the news about Red Bull is the best we can imagine for our sport, not only for the potential of this great brand, but also for what it is doing in many disciplines with excellent results. "

Gwenaelle Souyri

It was his brother who one day told him to accompany him on a track. padel, since then, Gwenaëlle has never left the court. Except when it comes to going to watch the broadcast of Padel Magazine, World Padel Tour… or Premier Padel…or the French Championships. In short, she is a fan of this sport.