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Mr. President's voice in times of Corona crisis

Posted by on May 11, 2020

Mr. President's voice in times of Corona crisis

© Ton Smilde
Mr. President Farouk El Barki: short view into the worries to overcome COVID 19 crisis in billiards

CAIRO - The president of the world federation of billiard players usually brings his news on the official UMB channel. These days and weeks mainly with the cancellations and adjustments on the calendar, caused by the COVID 19 crisis. Mister Farouk El Barki and his board are directing the huge billiards stronghold with its 53 federations and hundreds of thousands of carom players worldwide. The future is unpredictable in this Corona era without sports events. The borders are closed, the virus ravages the world and nobody knows for how long.

The interview with Mr. Farouk Barki gives players and the outside world a short view into the worries to overcome to continue 2020 and the near future. The three-cushion World Championship for national teams, individual, with Torbjörn Blomdahl defending his title, the Junior and Women's World Championship, the World Cups and Survival Masters: it's only guessing when the balls will roll again.

The other recent update coming from the UMB channel was about the information that Korean federation KBF and PBA (Professional Association in Korea) are considering to work together, only for the local promotion in billiards. The UMB reports, that it must be considered as a step towards a future international agreement between UMB/KBF and PBA/B&N. The announcement: ,,We must reiterate that the UMB situation concerning PBA/B&N has not changed and that suspensions of PBA players will remain valid.'' However, the UMB is willing to find a mutual acceptable solution between parties.

Mr. Farouk El Barki, from Cairo, a sports leader in times of crisis and his view on the crisis that interrupted all of our lives: how worrisome is Corona for players, club owners, organizers, billiards business, sponsors and mainly for the calendar?

Kozoom/Frits Bakker: How do your days look like in times of no tournaments, no travelling and without meeting all kinds of people and friends in billiards?
Mr. Farouk Barki: I miss our sport ‘billiards', all friends, officials and players because of this COVID-19 situation. I spend most of my time, as nearly all of us, at home, thinking how will be the future of our sport when we are back on track. We frequently deliberate on specific issues by email and video conferencing.

Kozoom/FB: What is the most recent news and what about your expectations for the calendar. What is UMB's strategy for now in case of tournament and championships cancellations. The news has been announced step by step so far.  Is there any chance that we play the World championship three cushion coming up?
Farouk Barki: Nobody knows, or can be sure when international events will restart. Not only for billiards, for all sports. As you have noticed, UMB is monitoring the COVID-19 situation for events two months in advance. And it is too early to decide already for the September and October events. Besides, we are discussing the situation with our organizers. World Championships however are special and, in case of cancellation, and after consultation with the federations, could eventually be postponed to the 1st. quarter of 2021. And after consultation with the federations. Taking the present situation into consideration, in my opinion, it will be very difficult to reschedule the cancelled World Cups. The organizing federations will individually plan their events according to a national approved protocol. UMB will in due time be informed by the organizers about their protocol.

Kozoom/FB: The strict global rules are now: as long as there is no vaccine, no major events can take place. What does that mean for UMB, like for World Cups and championships. Can you estimate that for the rest of 2020?
Farouk Barki: The UMB must consider the safety measures for our billiards family worldwide, following WHO recommendations and the national government protocol rules for event organizations. I hope very much that we will be back on track for the 4th quarter of 2020.

Mr. Farouk Barki, visiting one of the World Cups in Korea

Kozoom/FB: When permission is given, what will be the plan to catch up and to allow events to be played at a later stage?  Surely, the main requirement must be that all borders are open, so that all players are able to participate in all events?
Farouk Barki: As I mentioned, we are monitoring, and once the borders are open and all our players can travel without restrictions, our events will start taking place. We are confident that our organizers and national federations have an individual protocol in accordance with their possibilities.

Kozoom/FB: Did you receive many reactions from federations about the damage that Corona inflicts, for example loss of competitions, loss of members, financial damage?
Farouk Barki: I didn't receive anything from any federation, but I can imagine the sportive and financial damages for the national clubs and the impact for the national federation. We all suffer from this crisis, each with its own possibilities.

Kozoom/FB: And from the players about the progress of the UMB calendars? They should know when to start their preparations. What is the best way for the UMB to inform its members during this time of crisis?
Farouk Barki: All players know very well how much UMB cares and supports them. Without players there are no events. Without events there is no UMB. But our players are part of our community and I am sure that they are also monitoring the situation considering the frequent UMB announcement.

Kozoom/FB: The last question: there was an announcement on social media about cooperation between snooker and carom organisations. Has it anything to do with the UMB?
Farouk Barki: No, nothing, any cooperation of UMB with any billiards division, snooker or pool, will be through WCBS and its members, IBSF and WPA.

Thanks Mr. Barki, take care and stay safe.




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My Comments

For all problems there is a solution

The Corona crisis affects us all, every industry and every sport, some more and others less. It will stop the international events for a long time. We should not wait but act. Let's use the possibilities that exist, and let's do it JOINTLY for the BILLARDSPORT. Years ago, for the first time before the World Cup tournament in Porto 2016, I offered a cooperation between the UMB and MYWEBSPORT. This was unfortunately rejected at that time. The disappointment about this should not prevent us from welcoming a cooperation with national and international federations in the future - FOR BILLARDSPORT.

We have the solution and act as follows:

Interested board members of federations and clubs are cordially invited to cooperate. We are looking forward to every inquiry as well as suggestions and ideas under

As soon as the billiard players are allowed to return to their clubs we will start with the first HOME TOUR. A tournament series in which all billiard players who have MYWEBSPORT at home or in their clubs can participate. Of course there will also be prize money. The announcement will be sent to all MYWEBSPORT locations soon. Interested players can then also inform themselves under or request an announcement under

As the traditional team competitions will not take place in the usual form again so quickly, we are also thinking of organising team competitions and doubles tournaments. We are looking forward to your suggestions.

Borderless training sessions are also offered. We call it HOME COACHING. The MYWEBSPORT users can participate in the training sessions of our top players and coaches. They can place their position exactly on the table with the laser and thus actively participate, because the coaches comment on their shots and analyse different solutions. Andreas Efler will start with HOME COACHING as soon as we are allowed to return to our clubs. Andy(!) has almost scientifically worked out one of the main problems in 3-cushion, the so-called "KISS". It goes without saying that the analysis of positions from his "DUCKING KISSES IN THREE CUSHION" will be one of the main topics in his HOME COACHING. Hopefully he will also show the positions from his new app "CRAZY POINTS".

We are happy to welcome you to our MYWEBSPORT Community.

Message 1/2 - Publish at May 11, 2020 11:38 PM - Edited at May 11, 2020 11:44 PM

The 9 commandments
Yeah, sure, FB-1. Yeah, obviously, FB-2. Hunky dory, FB-1. Peachy keen, FB-2.

The history will be written by the winners and here there's no need to uphold the rule of law.

Here is how things are going to unfold:

1. "Beloved Players" will wait.
2. "Beloved Managers and Writers", will wait.
3. The second virus (SARS-Co-2, Covid(ecember)-19) will go away.
4. The first virus (UMB-Co-1, Covij(uly)-19), will remain ("suspensions of players will remain valid") and we must not say that UMB Statutes art 22, nr 2 is unlawful.
5. Practice will flourish
6. Travel will resume.
8. Competition will resume.
9. Everybody will be happy.

Jordi Fontdevila

Message 2/2 - Publish at May 12, 2020 10:04 PM - Edited at May 13, 2020 8:57 AM

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