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Carom Billiard - 3-Cushion - Belgian National Championship Round 15 (BEL)

A new tumult is born in Belgian billiards

Posted by on February 5, 2020

A new tumult is born in Belgian billiards

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Benny van Goethem (left) with Kurt Ceulemans, earlier last year in a conflict

SINT NIKLAAS/DEURNE - On the evening that Frédéric Caudron played a world class match in the Belgian league (50 in 10 innings, 5,000 on average), a new tumult was born. The match between 'De Witte Molen' in Sint Niklaas and the second Mr. 100 Lier team, in the premier three cushion league, one of the matches ended in a verbal fight, threats and protests. The reason for the unfriendly atmosphere: the 'Lierse team' blamed 'De Witte Molen' that the team was playing with three foreigners where only two foreign players are legally entitled. De Witte Molen won the match 8-0, Mr. 100 announced an official protest.

The chairman of the Belgian federation, Benny van Goethem, who happens to be the chairman also of De Witte Molen, left the billiard room in the heat of the fight and later returned around midnight. Then, the fight escalated again and the parties were again directly opposite each other with, according to eyewitnesses, verbal and physical threats.

Two players, from both teams, later indicated how much the fight had gotten out of hand. Paul Bruijstens, leading player in the Lier team: ''The evening had nothing to do with billiards . I came home at three o'clock in the morning, billiards was definitely no fun anymore." Sam van Etten (Witte Molen): ''The atmosphere was very, very unpleasant. I want to say to these people: get along in a friendlier way. That makes it a lot more fun to play billiards."

The protest is about the rule of foreigners: two foreign players can officially participate on a team, a third player only if he is not yet a first class player. Ad Broeders and Adrien Tachoir are the two foreign players at De Witte Molen. According to De Witte Molen, Sam van Etten was allowed to play as a third foreigner, because his official starting average is under 0.950. And he is therefore not considered a foreign playerer. With that line-up: Tachoire, Forton, Broeders and Van Etten, the home team played the game against Mr. 100 Lier and won 8-0.

What happened later:

Benny van Goethem, in his double position, was initially attacked because the game started ten minutes late. ("We had a problem in the kitchen, so we finished eating a little too late.") The match started with a murmur from the Lierse players, who were already at the table to start the games.

"The atmosphere then became annoying and irritating among the parties," Van Goethem outlines the situation. ''I was blamed for my position at the table. The fight went on and on. I know how sharp things are between Mr. 100 and me as president federation, following the lawsuits with the Mr. 100 and Kurt Ceulemans regarding the billiard cloths. So, at a certain point, I decided to leave the room and not let it escalate any further. I went to a billiard room somewhere else and came back around midnight. But then the tumult started again."

Benny van Goethem assures: ''When we brought Sam van Etten to our team, we asked for his average in the Netherlands: that was 0.947, so below the 0.950 limit for the main class. So, officially Sam van Etten was allowed to play and he was not considered a foreigner. This affair has been going on since the season start, when KBC Kortrijk has already submitted an official complaint after the first games. The sports committee has considered this and made its conclusion that De Witte Molen is in favor. We are therefore fully entitled.'' Benny van Goethem: ''I  told them, in that tumult: when Mr.100 does not accept the rules of the federation, they will no longer play in the competition. That apparently made Marc Celen and his teammates furious.'' And it must be said: between federal chairman Benny van Goethem and Mr. 100 Lier, in particular Kurt Ceulemans, were other conflicts in a recent past, such as the lawsuit concerning the Royal Pro billiard cloths.

Marc Celen, the team leader and player of Mr. 100, gives his version of the evening one day later: ''Before the start of the matches, I already indicated to Mr Van Goethem that our team, regardless of the outcome, would submit a complaint to the national sports committee for drafting a third foreigner. According to our interpretation of the rules, Sam van Etten must be classified as main class, so officially, he is a foreign player.'' And Celen continues: ''The opponents went for a meal only fifteen minutes before the matches. Without any communication. When we asked to play, it was initially refused. And I quote Mr Van Goethem: if you do not agree, you can go home and win 0-8." Marc Celen: ''The atmosphere became even grimmer. Mr Van Goethem, who was trying to intimidate us, said: ''If you don't accept the KBBB rules, no player from Mr. 100 will play next season.''

Mr. 100 team, after this encounter, will submit a complaint to the sports committee on three points: bringing 3 foreign players in the line-up, not respecting the rules regarding the start of the matches and because of the intimidation of the KBBB chairman. Marc Celen: ''We want to emphasize that we have no problem with the players of De Witte Molen, who have kept themselves completely aloof. They have earned the sporting victory."

How the conflict (with official protests from Mr. 100) concerning the De Witte Molen-Mr 100 Lier 2 will end, will be fought out via the Sports Committee.

The 15th round of the competition:

The top match Frédéric Caudron played with BC Deurne against De Leug, was a competition highlight so far. Caudron beat Wesley de Jaeger 50-27 in 10 innings and a high run of 13 (averages 5,000 and 2,700). Despite the leader's high flyer, Deurne lost one point against De Leug. Jerry Hermans also won, 42-13 in 29, against Bryan van Genechten. The losers for Deurne were Glenn Hofman against Johan Loncelle (50-31 in 28) and Davy van Havere against Frank de Groof (42-41 in 30).

Biljart Express came to the same match points with BC Deurne due to a 5-3 victory in the top match against Op de Meir. Eddy Merckx defeated Eddy Leppens in match that went along together for long time, but in which Leppens missed eight times in the last 10 innings: 50-36 in 30. Frans van Kuyk beat Barry van Beers 50-38 in 31 and Gerwin Valentijn played a draw against Roland Uijtdewillegen (42-42 in 21). Peter De Backer was the only winner for Op de Meir: he beat Martin Spoormans 42-29 in 32.

Mr. 100 1 beat KBC Brugse 6-2 with a win for Peter Ceulemans (50 in 37), Raymond Ceulemans (42 in 34) and Bart Ceulemans (42 in 25).

BC De Ploeg and Kortrijkse played a 4-4 draw. Best players in the home team De Ploeg were Jef Philipoom (against Dave Christiani 50-29 in 31) and Therese Klompenhouwer (against Martin Ravestyn 42-29 in 30). Ronny Brants played a strong match against Jack Wijnen and won 50-43 in 32. Fréderic Beghin (Kortrijk) won his match slightly over 2 average.

De Witte Molen won 8-0 thanks to victories by Adrien Tachoire (50 in 43), Francis Forton (50 in 42), Ad Broeders (42 in 34) and Sam van Etten (42 in 51).

Marc Celen

Frédéric Caudron: played a brilliant match 50 in 10 innings against Wesley de Jager with an excellent 27 points

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