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"Together Strong" Billiards in the Paris 2024 Olympics

Posted by on November 12, 2018

"Together Strong"  Billiards in the Paris 2024 Olympics

© Hervé Lacombe
Mr. Farouk EL Barki (r) and Mr. Jean-Pierre Guiraud

PARIS - The lobby by the international billiard federations to make billiards one of the sports disciplines at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 is in full swing. Frenchman Jean-Pierre Guiraud is the project coordinator of Billiards 2024. The candidacy is official since March 21st.  The WCBS (World Confederation of Billiards Sport), which covers all global federations (carom, pool and snooker) and the French federation has sent a joint letter to the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
What does the procedure look like?
The calendar of the IOC was unveiled in July. The procedure consists of two phases:
1- The sports candidates, probably around ten, will be contacted quickly by the COJO PARIS 2024 (the French organizing committee), that will present the selection process. COJO will then propose some additional sports to the IOC in the second quarter of 2019.
2- It is then up to the IOC to decide which sports and additional sports are eligible for the Olympic program in Paris. The final decision will be made by the Executive Committee of the IOC after the Tokyo Games in the last quarter of 2020.
What are the chances for billiards?
Difficult to say and the competition is tough, but there are strong arguments:
Billiards is a universal sport, which is played in all countries of the world and is accessible to everyone, without limiting gender, age or physical elements. Not many sports can say that.
Billiards has a soul and a rich history, especially in France, where it was successively a game for kings, a leisure activity and now a popular sport. We have important assets in our hands.
The infrastructure needed for the competition at the Olympic Games is cheap compared to other candidates, which is in line with recent IOC recommendations. In these times of austerity, policy makers should be sensitive to this aspect of our bid.
What does the 'Billiards 2024' project look like?
It is a project created with the help of the French billiard federation to promote the official entry of the billiard sport and make the request to the IOC, but it remains under the responsibility of the WCBS.
Billard 2024 supports the promotion of the candidacy of billiards in general and in all its forms. Thanks to this candidacy and transparency, we managed in bringing together all branches of the global billiard industry in a joint project for the first time.
This synergy will enable us to undertake communication activities that have never been seen before. We can already reveal that Florian 'Venom' Kohler, the French player who went to the US and has a billion views on YouTube, will participate in the project, including specific videos. The show is guaranteed!
The website Billiards2024.Paris has just started and social networks have been activated. The specific logo is now being distributed and recognized everywhere. Roll-ups and stickers are widely used to convey the campaign to all levels of the billiard world.
The petition, offered in 9 languages on the website, is about to achieve 15,000 signatures from more than 130 different countries. Two major events will take place in the coming months; After the presentation of the Golden Ball 2017 to Cristiano Ronaldo and the media launch of the Ryder Cup, it will be our turn to emphasize the iconic and prestigious setting at the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. The official launch and media campaign for the Olympic bid book will take place on November 30, with of course a show by Florian Kohler, the participation of politicians and sports, as well as champions like Jasmin Ouschan and our French top player Jérémy Bury. In March 2019 a tournament will be organized with some of the best players in the world in the field of carom, pool and snooker. The details will be revealed on November 30th.

What were the obstacles for this application?
The enthusiasm for this wonderful project is impressive in the entire billiard world. The only obstacle to form an internal front was the conflict within the WCBS between the global federations of amateur snooker (IBSF) and professional snooker (WPBSA). That obstacle no longer exists since the agreement, which was concluded in Frankfurt between the two federations on 16 August.

Picture from left to right:
Mubarak Al-Khayarin, president of the IBSF (World Amateur Snooker Federation), Ian Anderson, chairman of WCBS and WPA (World Pool Federation), Farouk El Barki, chairman of the UMB (World Carom Federation), Jason Ferguson, chairman of the WPBSA (World Professional Snooker Federation).
The role of Kozoom in this project?
Kozoom is a prominent partner in this wonderful project. The competence and professionalism of Kozoom which is recognized worldwide in the field of both international TV broadcasts and organization, will be one of the strong spearheads of our file.
Billiard has succeeded for the first time in uniting institutions, players and the business community around the same project. We want to be "strong together".  We need everyone now, at his level, to help us. Every action counts. Let us support the candidacy of the billiards world, forward the petition, show your passion!

Link to the petition

Link to the Billard 2024 website: https://www.Billiards2024.Paris

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