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Mr. Farouk Barki: no worries about UMB future

Posted by on March 16, 2019

Mr. Farouk Barki: no worries about UMB future

© Kozoom Studio
Mr.. Farouk el Barki, UMB president: our sport should not be the loser, the door is still open

VIERSEN - The year of 2019 had a turbulent start for Mr. Farouk Barki, the president of the UMB world billiards association, but the sky is slowly clearing. The rumors about a spectacular separation of top players, after the announcement of the Korean organization PBA (Professional Billiards Association, to be launched by Kimchi, Bravo and New), are less worrying than expected. The UMB, with players throughout the world, will not depart from its rules, strategy and planning whatever may happen in the next two months. Two players (Belgians Frédéric Caudron and Eddy Leppens) from the world's top 20 have officially announced they will leave the UMB. Mr. Barki is not afraid at all that more will follow. "I am very pleased that almost all players from the top of the world have expressed their confidence in the UMB."

The president joins for an interview with Kozoom during the World championship for national teams played in Viersen these days. The main news about this tournament: the Scotch Double system will disappear next year, players will face one-to-one again in matches for the pre-rounds and the knock-outs. Barki: ''Only when matches end in a draw during the knock-outs, there will be no shoot-out, but Scotch Double to 15 caroms to determine the winner."

The 71-year-old Egyptian, who leads the UMB, admits that he had a tough start of this year. And due to the full calendar with tournaments around the world, many negotiations and meetings, Barki is away from home for at least five to six months in a year. ''I hope that traveling will be a bit less now that Herbert Thür from Austria is our new sports director. He will take over many activities from me. But, personally I feel healthy, I feel a lot of confidence inside the UMB board and we don't worry about the current situation. The UMB is getting stronger and stronger.''

Kozoom/Frits Bakker: The UMB board had meetings two times these days in Viersen, individually and with the CEB (European federation) about calendars, about the financial future for the players and other matters. What are the expectations for this year?
Mr. Farouk Barki: The calendars have been discussed, among other things with the upcoming three World championship in three cushion, this year in Randers (Denmark), next year in Turkey, for which the location is not yet known and in two years in La Baule, in a location other than where the World Cups were played. The contract with Eurosport has been discussed and is very important for our sport. We are strong in Korea after our agreement with the KBF, the Korean federation. We are convinced that we want to further increase the prize money for players. Two years ago we had 2 to 300.000 euros per year, this year more than 1.5 million. It will be better for players every year, but just like in all major sports, the top players will be on top of the money-lists. Those who win a lot, will earn a lot with their sport. The top of the world players can live very well in billiards now, much more than a few years ago.

Kozoom/FB: The meetings were mainly meant to speak to the current situation. With the threat of the new PBA organization?
Mr. Barki: Yes, of course we discussed that extensively. We wait and see what happens the next two months. The PBA announced its first tournament should be played in June. I don't know who will play there and which players will be suspended afterwards. The rumours about a lifelong suspension are nonsense. According to our rules, a player who starts in one tournament for the other organization, will be suspended for one year. Two tournaments means two years suspension, three tournaments for three years, but that is the maximum. I really don't know who spread the rumours, but more than three years of punishment is not in the UMB regulations.

Kozoom/FB: Mr. President, what do you expect in the next months and with the transfers of players in the world?
Mr. Barki: We will only know when the new circuit will be launched. We just wait and see, but I am not afraid that we will lose the world top, on the contrary..., except for Frédéric Caudron, we will keep them all. My main question, after having seen all messages is: why do all the Korean top players, who live in Korea, want to continue playing worldwide in the big UMB tournaments. And why do five, or at most ten Europeans, who are except of Caudron and Leppens most of all players around the ranking of fifty, want to join the PBA for personal reasons and only play in Korea? I don't know and nobody can answer me. I cannot understand this after the efforts made by the UMB for the players. And that they are now leaving us.

Kozoom/FB: Is there still a door opened, a meeting between the parties to discuss? Can we hope for a compromise to bring the organizations together around the table?
Mr. Barki: I would like to, because of course I am not happy that a player like Caudron, one of our top players for many years, will leave us. There is no doubt for our sport, it would be best that the players stay under the umbrella of the UMB. When we don't manage, the sport itself is the big loser. I am open to new negotiations, but the first requirement for us is that they respect our calendars. We have obligations to our confederations and federations. The calendar could only have space for four or five other tournaments. If that willingness could be there, there would certainly be a solution for us to talk about.

Kozoom/FB: Does it surprise you that these days, more Europeans announce to certainly, or probably want to switch, such as Javier Palazón, and the Dutch Glenn Hofman and Jean Paul de Bruijn?
Mr. Barki: They mainly are the players that were expected, such as a few European Kimchi players and some who see an opportunity to earn more money. I am happier with the players who have returned to the World Cups after years, such as Martin Horn and Dion Nelin. They have seen the developments at the UMB and the opportunity to improve financially. The players who leave for Korea, who are far from the top 20, now want to earn some money without improving their level. The near future will tell who was right.



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My Comments

the Texas Carom Club
the Texas Carom Club
what about caudron?
what about caudron

Message 1/9 - Publish at March 17, 2019 2:09 PM - Edited at March 17, 2019 2:12 PM

Some news about PBA in Korea
I really hope UMB has no worries for its future.
But, I also hope carom sports has better future.
Is UMB an Players Management Agency or worldwide sports organization? Regardless of Kozoom.

Here are some news links about PBA movements in Korea.
If you are curious about the news written in Korean language, Kozoom Korea will be handy. /> /> /> />

Message 2/9 - Publish at March 23, 2019 7:52 PM

PBA news in Korea /links
Some of URL links provided by REALLY did not work.
Here, you go!

Click here and there with photos and PBA signature.

Message 3/9 - Publish at March 24, 2019 5:58 PM - Edited at March 24, 2019 6:02 PM

Comparison snooker and carambol
The matter of differences in organized billiards can be seen either way. I think you can find a plausible justification for almost any opinion. In the billiard community there are many discussions about the current situation UMB & PBA. The fact that here with KOZOOM except for a few speeches no proper discussion is likely based to the fact that the user have to pay (Premium Pass) to publish his opinion here and take part in the discussion. That's too bad. That you have to pay for the livestreams and the videos is clear. It's a huge effort for KOZOOM and I'm happy to support it. However, sharing his opinion in a forum should be free of charge.

For me, the question arises as to why the UMB is about to determine all players, from the top professional to the simple player of a club participating in a national league. In addition, the UMB prescribes to the clubs the game material (brand) to be used. The biggest mystery to me, however, is why the players and the clubs like it. Dictatorship and planned economy are greeted.

Since the comparison to organized snooker sport is legitimate, I will tell the billiard community the result of my research. If someone knows better, then I look forward to a message.

At the snooker the cooperation between the associations has been working for many years. If there were disagreements, then the problems were not carried out on the backs of the players and their disadvantage, but solved internally. Suspension of players for participating in other federation tournaments did not exist.

As can be seen from the link below, the Snooker has the International Association of Amateur Players (IBSF) and the Professional Association (WPBSA). Both associations are equivalent members of the WORLD CONFEDERATION OF BILLIARD SPORTS (WCBS). Here is a link to the association structure:

The UMB could be like the IBSF at snooker and should take care of the concerns of amateur players and the PBA could be like the WPBSA at snooker, which takes care of the professionals.

For a variety of reasons, I think it's better for Carom billiard in the long term, that a professional league was founded. That's exactly what the 3 cushion billiard has lacked compared to the snooker so far. I do not even see the UMB and the PBA as competitors. Each of them look after a different group of players and work together when it comes to qualifying opportunities (pro-am tournaments).

At the snooker there are professionals who only take part in the tournaments of the professional league (MAIN TOUR). In open tournaments (pro-Am tournaments) professionals and amateurs may participate. There are qualifying rounds where everybody can participate. The amateurs have various options to qualify for a fixed starting place on the MAIN TOUR for a periode.

Players theay leave the professional league have the opportunity to take part in the tournaments of the IBSF and to qualify for the professional league again. There are no suspensions. The associations work together.

The amateur tournaments (IBSF) have smaller prize money and the prize money of profi tournaments (WPBSA, MAIN TOUR) are very high. Depending on the country, the amateurs have the opportunity to be supported by public fundings and holdings.

I think this is a structure that would be good for the future of 3-cushion.

I am looking forward to a hot discussion.

Message 4/9 - Publish at March 25, 2019 8:53 AM

PBA Tour homepage link
Here you can find some info about PBA and PBA Tour.

If you click rectangular square at the bottom (with 3 Korean letters), more infos will show up.

Mr.Billardsportarena, I fully agree with your excellent opinion.
Maybe, WPBSA will be able to provide better solutions than incapable UMB.

I wish wise and open-minded persons like you are in the UMB Office.

Message 5/9 - Publish at March 25, 2019 4:25 PM - Edited at March 25, 2019 4:29 PM

Thanks for your comment.

I told you, my name is Jimmy. Billardsportarena is the name if my Billiardcenter.

Publish at March 25, 2019 6:49 PM

To :Mr.Billardsportarena
What is your email address,sir?

FYI, like snooker, Pool/WPA does not have such ridiculous rules like UMB suspensions and sanctions.

When they do not know what to do, they hide behind the groundless rules and unknown contracts.
It is easy to understand why carom has perished like this under this UMB+CEB partnership over last a few decades.

Monopolized business model between UMB and Kozoom may drown the carom sport day by day.
Very slowly, so, even the top players do not know exactly what is going on behind the curtains.

Publish at March 25, 2019 9:00 PM

Email Adress

Publish at March 25, 2019 9:53 PM

Question of a prospective customer
A reader has asked me if I know how the snooker is handled when players participate in privately organized tournaments. Whether the organizers have to obtain a permit from the Federation if players are invited or participate and they are also participate in tournaments organized by the international Federation and they are members of the international Federation. I have organized an invitation tournament myself in which Steve Davis and Ken Doherty participated. We did not have to ask anyone for approval.
Together with my snooker club I have organized the Innsbruck Snooker Open 3 times. The participants came from a total of 10 countries and are for the most part members of the IBSF and their national associations. We did not have to ask for approval and not pay to a federation. On the contrary, the national Federation even provided financial support for organizing the tournament.

Despite my previous positive experience, I have informed myself about the current situation with Snooker. Here is the result of my research:
Basically, all players can participate in privately organized tournaments without asking for permission. Also for tournament organizers there is no obligation to ask a Federation for approval. There is only one restriction regarding streaming if WPBSA professionals participate. In this case you have to ask the WPBSA for approval because the players appear as testimonials for the sponsors of the WPBSA. Usually there is no problem that the players are allowed to participate.

If someone has other information, then I ask for a message, here or by email, if no premium pass should be present.

By the way:
The interested Reader of KOZOOM blogs, who wrote me the Email on the above question, is affected by the fact that he can not attend the discussion because he does not have a Premium Pass.

Message 6/9 - Publish at March 25, 2019 7:51 PM

UMB must get a lesson from snooker
Indeed, snooker world is run by common sense and fair treatment.
No wonder how successful the professional snooker tour has become!

In pool, there is no restriction like UMB suspension.
It is only possible when UMB is paying enough money for living to the players UMB wants to control.

In golf, players are free to play in PGA America, EPGA in Europe, JPGA in Japan, KPGA in Korea and elsewhere as long as they are qualified (Tour card or thru Q-rounds) or invited.
The players choose where to go by his or her own decision.
Professional players travel worldwide almost every week. amateurs do not have to.

It was funny Eddy Merckx wants to play events he can go by car.
Wish him safe trips to Hurghada, Hochiminh and Korea.

Publish at March 28, 2019 3:21 PM

Well information
Thanks to Heidi from KOZZOM for the information, that it is not nessesary to have a Premium Pass to attend the discussion or post a message in the Forum. You only need to register.

I did not know that. I had to log in to post a message and since I have a premium pass, I thought it would not work without a premium pass.
It is good if the visitors of the KOZOOM site know that. Maybe you can somehow communicate it explicitly that it is so.

Message 7/9 - Publish at March 26, 2019 12:31 PM - Edited at March 26, 2019 12:33 PM

All PBA Tour matches LIVE on TV & platforms -Historical monument in 3C broadcasting
PBA announced today " No More UMB events broadcasting on Billiards-TV from 2020. "

According to Billiards-TV management, " The UMB events will be gradually reduced until extinction before the end of this year.

The PBA Tour, PBA Division2 and PBA Tour-Ladies will replace the hours gradually, and from 2020, the PBA Tour contents will completely

replace the old UMB contents. The money (about 800,000 Euros per year) spent on UMB events media right (thru MBC Sports TV) and our own production

will be invested into the broadcasting of PBA Tour-LIVE on Billiards-TV and other digital platforms. It will be historical thing to billiard fans! "

PBA added " Most matches of PBA Tour (which will start from June 2019 ) will be LIVE broadcast on Billiards-TV, terrestrial TV channels, major Sports

TV channels. And from Last 128 matches, also LIVE on Internet/Mobile/various Digital Platforms such as U-Tube, Daum-Kakao TV, etc.

It will bring higher attention from billiard fans as well as sports fans in general in much greater scale."

PBA will also expedite the LPBA (PBA for Ladies) plan so that it will contribute to the future of ever-struggling women carom.

The specific program will be announced soon

PBA is convinced it will be the most phenomenal development in the history of 3-cushion history ever.

Message 8/9 - Publish at April 3, 2019 8:12 AM

UMB events no more on Korean TVs?
The info from Owllife is shocking. If so, I will have problem in watching UMB events on TV from next year.
MBC Sports channel used to be 2 but now only one channel since 2 months ago.
2 MBC Sports channels used to show UMB events regularly in turns but not any more now.

MLB (Major League Baseball, USA),KBO (Korean Professional Baseball) and Korean Professional Basketball matches are occupying most of the only one MBC Sports TV channel nowadays.

From time to time, one or 2 hours of UMB events are shown usually around 3 AM or 7 AM.
Impossible to watch them for ordinary people.

So, I am forced to watch reruns of old UMB events on Billiards-TV these weeks.
Where can I watch UMB events from next year? Eurosports TV ? I have no access from Korea.

Message 9/9 - Publish at April 3, 2019 2:57 PM

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