NewsWorld ChampionshipsSSE 2022 – Update

28th July 2022

We learnt yesterday in an initial communication from the FIPJP that they will not be proceeding with the Men’s World Triples Championships in Benin, which had been scheduled for December 2022. Our Men’s National Coach, our Chair of Events, our Women’s National Coach (in terms of any potential implications for our Women’s programme) and our Lead for Men discussed the unexpected situation, which unfortunately has only just become known a couple of days before the final SSE weekend.

We want to try and maintain positive momentum for our top level players in both senior male and female categories, and following consultation with PE’s Acting President and National Treasurer, the following has been agreed in relation to our men:

[1] We intend to proceed with the Men’s SSE3 and 4 this weekend using the format and points allocation that have been announced;

[2] Due to the latest cancellation of the WC, there are now no representational opportunities for our men associated with the current representational process;

[3] Given this situation, we have decided to offer a new international playing opportunity to the top 9 ranked players with a subsidy of £150 each, which can be used between now and March 2023. If players wish an immediate opportunity, we can seek to enter them into the PPF competition over August Bank Holiday weekend in Brussels;

[4] Given that we will be using a new process to find international representation in 2023, we will not be forming a Men’s 2022/23 Squad; and

[5] The process for finding international representation in 2023 (both World and European) will be the subject of a review. This will be based on our best understanding of FIPJP intentions at the relevant time, while the CEP Men’s European Triples Championships is clearly scheduled for 20 to 24 September in Albertville, France. The results of the review will be communicated before the end of 2022 and in good time for players to prepare for 2023.

As for our women, there are no changes with the approach set out in the programme announced in February 2022. As stated in the programme, at the end of the SSE qualifiers the top 6 women will be asked to form a new squad. This squad will be used to find our representation in 2023 if the relevant tournament takes place prior to October of that year. If after October, then new rankings will be used to pick the 2023 Squad, but we will seek other suitable high level international tournaments for Women (such as Palavas) for the 2022 Squad.

We regret the loss of this 2022 playing opportunity for our Men, but if it had proceeded in Benin we would have applied our normal duty of care towards our players and officials and assessed the political and security situation before a decision on participation. We note from the very latest news reports from the Reuters news agency that there is a growing Islamist insurgency in the country and that our own Foreign Office has designated large parts of the country as ‘no go’ areas.

You can read the letter dated 26th July 2022, which we received this afternoon by email from the FIPJP. This states that our World Federation intends to persist with Benin in 2023, scheduling a combined Triples, Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles tournament for the early half of September as they are unable to hold the 2023 World Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles in New Caledonia due to the political situation in that country.

Martin Hughes
Lead Member for Men/PE Board Director

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