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Carom Billiard - General - Kozoom Interview

FC Porto opens fantastic new billiard arena

Posted by on February 6, 2015

FC Porto opens fantastic new billiard arena

© Bilhar Porto
Alipio Jorge Fernandes as a commentator at the World Cup

PORTO - The ultra-modern FC Porto football stadium, known for the great European successes and its very new and unique football museum, has been enriched by the opening of a new billiards room late last year. The main Portuguese billiard club will organize tournaments and play its own club matches in the venue.

The main responsibility for the billiards club of FC Porto, Alipio Jorge Fernandes, leads Kozoom with this interview around in one of the most wonderful billiard clubs in the world. This year, FC Porto will host another World Cup, Dick Jaspers was the winner last year.

FC Porto is not only known as a great organizer, including the World championship where Eddy Merckx won, the club is starting off each year with a strong team in the European Cup, with famous players like Torbjörn Blomdahl, Dani Sánchez and in former years Dick Jaspers, Semih Sayginer and many other world class players.

Kozoom/Frits Bakker: Where is the new billiard room built: in the football stadium, or close to the stadium?
Alipio Jorge Fernandes: ,,The venue is located in the Dragon Stadium, our famous football stadium. We even hope to expand it further in the future, for now it is a fantastic room to play billiards.''

Kozoom/FB: When was the official opening? How big is the arena, how many tables, how many seats in the stands?
AJF: ,,The venue was opened on 19 December 2014. We have five carom tables in one room and four pool tables in another part. People who would like to play snooker, asked us to give snooker a place later. In the large carom venue, we have about 100 seats in the stands.''

Kozoom/FB: The venue has more than one room?
AJF: ,,The total size is 600 square meters, divided into three areas.''

Kozoom/FB: What can you say about the development of Portuguese billiards in general and FC Porto in particular?
AJF: ,,We still continue to innovate in Portuguese three-cushion and stimulate the youth. FC Porto now has one team in the league with only youth players. That team is the leader in the second division. We also have a billiard school now, under the name 'Dragon force' for young players under 18 years.''

Kozoom/FB: What will your club organize in the new location? Club matches, the league? Maybe other tournaments?
AJF: ,,We want to organize the European qualifying rounds for sure, all the home matches for the league of course and maybe a special tournament with special guests.''

Kozoom/FB: Where did the club play in the years before?
AJF: ,,Before we opened the new room, we played in an FC Porto building in the center of the city.''

Kozoom/FB: Will this wonderful new place give a new boost to improve, for the club and for the youth?
AJF: ,,We certainly expect a boost, not only for FC Porto, also for billiards fans and players in Portugal and around the world. One of the carom tables is prepared for TV recordings.''

Kozoom/FB: What can we expect from FC Porto on the international stage this year? The organization of a next World Cup?
AJF: ,,FC Porto will always put in a strong team in the European Cup, in which we achieved a silver medal three times and five times the bronze medal. FC Porto's slogan is 'winning since 1893' and billiards has responsibilities in this area. Furthermore we have also 53 national team titles (championships, cups, super cups) and more than a hundred other ones.''
,,As organizers we continue our 'saga', which means that up to the moment, we organized 35 international events (World Cups, World championship, Europe Cup, congresses, General Assemblies etc). This year, the story goes on... with the World Cup from 6 to 12 July.''

Kozoom/FB: What can you tell us about the history of the billiard: big players, champions, tournaments, the first president, how long are you the president of the club now
AJF: ,,We should write a book about the history of FC Porto. Fantastic international players represented FC Porto in the past and still.''
,,Daniel Sanchez, Ruben Legazpi, Raul Hernandez, Lola Granados, Amalia Matas from Spain. Torbjörn Blomdahl from Sweden. Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands. Semih Sayginer, Tayfun Tasdemir, Murat Naci Coclu from Turkey. Nikos Polychronopoulos from Greece. Hans Laurdsen from Denmark. Saul Corro from Mexico and Ramon Rodriguez and Maximo Aguirre from Peru. Christina Shagan from Germany, Kristina Zlateva from Bulgaria. And also a member of FC Porto, although they didn't even play one match, were Marco Zanetti, Sang Lee and Jung Han Heo.''
,,Some of the best Portuguese players belong to the FC Porto team now: Rui Costa, João Ferreira, Santos Oliveira. And the billiard world will also know young players like José Miguel Soares, Hugo Costa, Ricardo Pinto and Jorge Costa pretty soon.''

,,I myself play billiards for FC Porto since 1980. We are integrated with our club in the structure of FC Porto, so there is no billiards president. I am vice-chairman of the FC Porto board since 1992. My functions are:
Responsible for the billiard sport.
President of the council of FC Porto's delegation national and international (in total 160 delegations).
Administrator of FC Porto's magazine.''

Thank you, Mr. Alipio for this interview.

,,I also want to thank Kozoom.''

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