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Torbjörn Blomdahl: ready to discuss with UMB

Posted by on July 14, 2015

Torbjörn Blomdahl: ready to discuss with UMB

© Harry van Nijlen/
Torbjörn Blomdahl, players representative to discuss with UMB board.

PORTO – The joy from his victory in the Porto World Cup had barely left his face, when Torbjörn Blomdahl was already faced with the reality of the day. ,,Can we talk about my new role within the UMB?’’ The Swede was appointed players representative, not a board position, but the voice of the players. ,,We can finally speak our minds.’’ 

Moreover, the players council that was once brought to life in Sluiskil, has been brought back. ,,We had fallen asleep, so to speak’’, confesses Blomdahl. ,,Marco Zanetti and I had too many other things on our minds.’’ The players club (Masters of Billiards Associaton) was in a coma, but it will now start to function again. Marco Zanetti remains the chairman, Frédéric Caudron will be tresurer and vice-chairman, Gokhan Salman secretary and Dick Jaspers and Torbjörn Blomdahl board members. The players council moves from Schiltigheim to Lausanne, that was the first decision made.

,,We have about thirty members at this point, but we have not gone out of our way to recruit more. But we are going to. And during tournaments, we are going to meet up.’’ Marco Zanetti: ,,We are happy to have a Turkish representative in the board of the MBA (Gökhan Salman) and we would wish to see Koreans (and Vietnamese) more active in the MBA. Unfortunately their English language doesn't make things easy, that's why we were unable to make other proposals.''

Torbjörn only wants to bring to the debate what the players tell him. ,,I will not pursue my personal agenda. I will always ask the membership what their opinion is. The intention is, that I will observe and take part in the discussions, then bring that to the player group. From what I hear, there will also be a female representative. That should be Therese Klompenhouwer, but I don't know if that has been formalized already.’’ 

The representatives will look into specific matters. ,,I want to be present when there are meetings about rules and regulations, for examble about the ranking. The first meeting with the UMB was supposed to be held in Brandenburg for me during the EC, but there was too much going on, in relation to Dupont's resignation.’’

Blomdahl had his first meeting with Fernando Requena and Farouk Barki last week during the Porto World Cup. ,,For starters, we are glad with this new situation, where we can discuss UMB matters. It shouldn't be possible that formats change without the players even being consulted, as happened last year with the new ranking rules. We want to prevent that.’’

Players are still unhappy with that change. ,,Now Jae Ho Cho, who was seventh, suddenly falls back to sixteenth place.’’ And what about one of the best in the world, Frédéric Caudron, who defends a lot of points in the upcoming two tournaments and could even drop out of the top-12. Marco Zanetti: ,,Maybe it's even worse to talk about Sung-Won Choi's situation in case he will play a bad World Championship in Bordeaux in December this year.'' Torbjörn Blomdahl: ,,It would be unimaginable that Djokovic, Federer, Murray or Wawrinka could have two lesser tournaments and are suddenly out of the top-5 of the tennis ranking?’’ 

Another spearhead issue, according to Blomdahl, is the number of points. ,,Do we want to keep playing to 40? I remember that match between Jaspers and Caudron at Agipi, where Jaspers had a 44-7 lead. In the current format, that match would have been over. Caudron won that encounter (to 50 points), and now it is a piece of billiard history.’’

Blomdahl can't expect to have direct influence on the rules, as of now, but he can join the discussion. The UMB will have its bi-annual meeting in January 2016, in Caïro. ,,We have good hope that we can be heard many times before that meeting in Caïro.’’

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