Jinan Event – Message from the WPA President
Re Jinan 8-Ball Masters
It appears there are many rumours and false information being spread about and I would like to use this opportunity to quash such misinformation and give you a clear and concise update of the situation today.
As you are probably aware, the above event is scheduled to be played between 28 October and 5th November. For those who are interested to play this event I feel that you should be given as much information as possible in order to help you. As you know we have had the event scheduled twice before, in 2017 it was cancelled because it was not able to be conducted as a world championship, and the second time it was postponed because of threats of heavy fines by CBSA for players who played in Jinan and then wanted to play the China Open. It was not cancelled by Jinan or CBSA as some of the rumours suggest, but rather by the WPA in order that you would have two events to play in 2018 rather than one. We couldn’t have the two events back-to-back because of the threat from CBSA about heavy penalties to players, so we had to make a decision of whether to cancel Jinan or the China Open, or move the dates for Jinan. If we cancelled the China Open the tournament would not have taken place this year as they could not go with any other date and they would have lost their sponsors, and therefore we could have possibly lost them forever. So we chose to move the Jinan dates, Jinan agreed and supported our suggestion, and therefore you now have two events to play instead of one.
The Jinan 8-Ball Masters is being played in the Olympic Stadium in the city of Jinan. You reach Jinan from Beijing by fast train in around 90 minutes, or by train from Shanghai in 3.5 hours. There is also an airport in Jinan but you would need to check on how you fly there.
The Masters is a commercial event, financially backed by the Jinan government and will be played in two divisions, one for men and the other for women, and offering in excess of US $400,000 of prize money. As a commercial event it does not legally require any sanctioning from CBSA.
The venue is booked, and the Jinan Olympic Sports Centre is one of the Organisers. Referees are organised and all the equipment available and ready.
The first concern for players is always the money, and the certainty of getting paid. On this score I can inform you;
On the 27th September the winning bidder as organiser will be announced. Within seven days of this announcement, the Organiser will be handed the money for the event. As soon as the Organiser has received the money, the WPA will be given an amount that will allow the WPA to guarantee players a reimbursement should something untoward happen that causes the event to be deferred or cancelled. The WPA has received written statements to this procedure.
As most of you would know, some players lost money because of the problems with the first two events, but their costs have been reimbursed by the WPA, so no player is actually out of pocket. Of course the WPA cannot continue to do such, and therefore neither the WPA or its member federations will be responsible for any future losses with regards to this event except in the following circumstance. The WPA has been assured that as soon as the Organiser has received his funds from the government (about 2nd or 3rd October), he will immediately transfer funds to the WPA. The WPA will then make it known to you that we are then in the position to guarantee reimbursements towards players should the event be cancelled or postponed. This means you will be able to make your airline booking confident that you will not suffer any loss. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t think that it would make any great difference in buying a ticket today, or waiting another two weeks.
The WPA has invitation letters available if they are required for obtaining visas. Please ask your member if you require such. All other information for the event has already been sent to your members, but will be resent.
In summary, the WPA has no reason, nor has it seen any evidence, to believe the Jinan event won’t proceed as announced on the newly scheduled dates. To the contrary, we are aware that the funds for the event were approved quite some time ago, committees are in place and planning meetings are held almost daily in their preparations, and press conferences have been planned for the official announcement on or about the 25th September. No effort is being spared to make this event successful, and also, we expect it to become an annual event.
Please be assured that the WPA will only ever act in what we consider to be in the best interests for the players. I know sometimes that decisions we need to take, things we may do, or be forced to do may not appear that way, but we always put the welfare of the players and the sport, first and foremost.