We are today pleased to announce that the African Billiards and Snooker Confederation (ABSC) has become the latest regional body to become a full member of the World Snooker Federation (WSF).
The agreement follows positive discussions between both organisations in recent months during which it has become clear that the interests of the WSF and ABSC are aligned for the ongoing development of snooker both regionally and globally.
The WSF is hugely excited by the potential of the Africas region as part of snooker’s worldwide development and is committed to supporting the activities of the ABSC to grow the sport and to provide opportunities to African players to compete at the highest level.
It was recently announced that this year’s African national champion Mohamed Ibrahim of Egypt has been awarded a main tour place for the next two seasons. His countryman and reigning African 6-Red champion Mohamed Khairy will also take his place at September’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship as an international qualifier.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am honoured to be able to work with Mohammed Kammah and his team at the ABSC. He has worked hard for many years in leading our sport in the region, including the organisation of the All-African Championships and more recently by creating a landmark opportunity to develop snooker further in the region through inclusion in the All-African Games.
“This is a vast region with many players and huge potential to play a key role in our ongoing development work for snooker globally. Already we are pleased to have provided a pathway for African players to the World Snooker Tour and I am optimistic that with the commitment shown by Mohammed and his team, we will see even more talented players from Africa competing at the highest level.”
Mohammed Kammah, ABSC president said: “The ABSC cares about the players, referees and promoting the sport in Africa. The amateur circuit is the blood veins of the professional circuit and both bodies have to work together for the welfare of the sport. It is every player’s dream to play in the professional tournaments and we are keeping that dream with the respect and good cooperation between the ABSC and the WPBSA Group.
“We are very pleased with the support we are getting from the WPBSA Group and I am sure that together we will achieve a great future for Africa.”
Today’s news follows the recent announcement that the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation has also joined the WSF.
We are today delighted to welcome the Oceania Billiards and Snooker Federation (OBSF) as the latest full member of the World Snooker Federation (WSF).
The WSF continues to welcome the support of national and regional bodies that share its commitment to both good governance and the expansion of amateur snooker across the globe. With its rich history in the sport, the Oceania region is a key area for strategic development over the coming years and both the WSF and OBSF are excited about the opportunities ahead.
As previously announced, Oceania will be granted a place at this year’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand, with a qualifying tournament to be staged in July. This is just the beginning as WSF align the interests of Oceania’s many players with the World Snooker Tour.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am today pleased to be able to welcome the OBSF to the WSF family. The Oceania region has played a significant role in a long history of billiards sports. OBSF President Frank Dewens and his team work tirelessly providing a strong framework for our sport to develop and I am very excited to be able to harness this passion and commitment within our group.”
We are today pleased to announce further information in respect of six international qualifiers who will compete at this year’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship in September.
The tenth staging of the event won in 2017 by Mark Williams will take place from 3-8 September in Bangkok, Thailand, with a mix of the sport’s top professionals and leading amateurs making up a top class international field.
Following discussions between representatives of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), WSF and the tournament organising committee it has been agreed that six of the qualifying players will be selected as follows:
- 1x Africa qualifier
- 1x U.A.E. qualifier
- 1x European qualifier
- 1x Oceania qualifier
- 2x WSF qualifiers
Former professional world number 95 Mohamed Khairy of Egypt will represent Africa following his victory at the 2018 African 6-Red Championship in Cairo last month.
He will be joined by 2007 Asian Indoor Games snooker gold medallist Mohammed Shehab of the United Arab Emirates, a well-known and highly decorated player in the region which is working closely with the WSF in respect of ongoing and future projects.
New professional Luo Honghao of China and Marvin Lim Chun Kiat from Singapore have also qualified as the best two performing Asian players at the inaugural WSF Championship in Malta earlier this year.
The names of the final two players are still to be confirmed, with the winners of this week’s EBSA European 6-Red Championship and of a 6-Red qualifying tournament to be staged in Oceania this July to also earn their places in Thailand.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “This is another significant demonstration of our global strategy of collaboration with the many regional and national federations who have pledged their support to the WSF to date. We are proud to be able to provide a pathway to significant international tournaments such as the SangSom 6-Red World Championship as the event celebrates its tenth anniversary this year in Thailand.”
The announced players will join 16 professionals from the World Snooker Tour, as well as a further 10 amateur players to be invited by the tournament organising committee.
Read how Mark Williams captured the title for the first time last year HERE.
The WPBSA and World Snooker have today announced further information in respect of the nominated players who will participate in the new Challenge Tour.
To operate as a secondary circuit to the World Snooker Tour, Challenge Tour will comprise 10 events to be staged across the UK and mainland Europe during the 2018/19 season.
The top 64 players on the final 2018 Q School Rankings, excluding those who have qualified for the main tour, will be eligible to compete in each Challenge Tour event.
Up to eight more players will be added to the tour based on the following criteria agreed by the WPBSA in consultation with the World Snooker Federation (WSF):
European WSF Member Federations hosting Challenge Tour Events
- National Champion of Latvia
- National Champion of Belgium
- TBC – EBSA Host European Federation
Players who reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Snooker Federation Mixed Championships
- Kacper Filipiak of Poland
- Kristjan Helgason of Iceland
World Women’s Snooker Tour
- Ng On Yee of Hong Kong (2018 WLBS World Women’s Snooker champion)
- Reanne Evans of England (2017/2018 season end WLBS World Women’s no.1 ranked, or next in line if the same as world champion)
The eighth nomination was the WSF Championship runner-up Adam Stefanów, however it was recently announced that he is now to join the World Snooker Tour from the 2018/19 season.
Should any of the above players not enter a Challenge Tour event, any further players will be selected based upon the Q School Rankings. National federations will not have the option to transfer these invitations to other players.
Challenge Tour will provide a direct pathway to the World Snooker Tour, with the top two players on the final Order of Merit to receive a two-year professional ticket from the start of the 2019/20 season.
There will be a total prize fund of £100,000 to be provided by the WPBSA as part of its ongoing commitment to amateur snooker which has recently seen the formalisation of the International Federation for Snooker, the WSF.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “I am delighted to see the gap between amateur and professional snooker getting smaller with the introduction of the World Snooker Challenge Tour in Europe. We have seen many young talented players coming through in China through competing on the CBSA Tour which provides excellent playing opportunities for leading players in the region. There is a strong appetite from elite performing amateur players across Europe to have similar opportunities as they look to develop a full-time career in our sport.
This new Challenge Tour will not only provide the opportunity to compete at a high-level in match conditions, it will also be a place where as a world governing body we can educate the next generation of players and officials to safeguard our sport’s future.”
The first Challenge Tour event gets underway this Saturday at the Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton and will run for two days with a total prize fund of £10,000.
World Snooker Federation Championship runner-up Adam Stefanów will take his place on the World Snooker Tour for the first time at the start of the 2018/19 season.
After Lyu Haotian climbed into the top 64 of the world rankings at the end of last season following the first year of his two-year tour card, an extra place has now become available on the professional circuit.
Following consultation between World Snooker, the WPBSA and the World Snooker Federation it has been decided that Poland’s Stefanów is to receive the invitation to join the tour, based on being next in line as runner up in the WSF Championship which was held in Malta earlier this year.
Having described the WSF Championship as his ‘last chance’ to qualify for the professional circuit, the tournament proved to be bittersweet for the 24-year-old as he performed brilliantly to reach the final at the Dolmen Hotel, before falling short to eventual champion Luo Honghao of China.
But Stefanów, who for the past three years has lived in Sheffield, England, will now become the first Polish player to compete on the professional circuit since Kacper Filipiak during the 2011/12 season.
Adam Stefanów said: “This is a dream come true for me! There are millions of people playing snooker around the world and to receive the ticket to the dream that I have had for 13 years of being one the 128 players to play on the main tour is absolutely fantastic.
“I feel ready for the opportunity, I am at the perfect age and I know that I can continue to improve as a player. I have been so dedicated to this sport since I was 11 and am so proud that I will be the first player to represent my country on the professional circuit with a two-year tour card. Snooker is such a huge sport in Poland and I am determined to be able to do something special for our game.”
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “It is a pleasure for us to be able to welcome Adam Stefanów to the main tour as the next player in line following his exceptional performance at the WSF Championship in Malta.
“The WSF is providing inspirational opportunities to amateur snooker players across the globe who demonstrate their commitment to the sport at the highest international level. Adam is a hard working passionate player who has improved tremendously in recent times, he is exactly the type of competitor that the World Snooker Tour requires and he thoroughly deserves a chance to compete amongst the world’s best players.”
The World Snooker Federation (WSF) received unanimous support from its many international members at its first General Assembly held during the first ever WSF Championships at the Dolmen Hotel, Malta.
At the meeting, which began with a presentation setting out the vision of the WSF for the future of snooker globally, delegates representing national federations voted unanimously to ratify the current WSF board and approve its statutes.
The historic meeting was formally opened by President of the Malta Billiards and Snooker Association (MBSA) Frans Bugeja, who was given the honour by WSF President Jason Ferguson.
Ferguson said: “I am delighted to have had the opportunity today to engage in constructive face to face dialogue with the many national federations who have pledged their support to our global development.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Frans and his team at the MBSA who have hosted our inaugural Championships this week. Malta has long maintained a presence in snooker at both amateur and professional levels and I look forward to this continuing in the future.”
The WSF Championships run until 24 March 2018, with the group stages of the first ever WSF Championship commencing this coming Sunday.