January 20, 2020
The ICEA’s Letter of Reply to the CBSA’s Malicious Slander
Chinese Billiards & Snooker Association:
Recently, your association issued a “Statement on the suspected illegal activities of the ICEA in Chinese territory” (the “Statement”), claiming that many of our recent activities are “illegal” or “in violation of relevant regulations.” After its release, the Statement has caused great concern among the Chinese Pool public and adverse impact on our brand image. After research, we would like to clarify matters to set the records straight. In the meantime, we condemn and protest against the malicious slander from the CBSA, an act that goes beyond its authority as a National Association and against the operational norms of the world bodies.
I. On the legitimacy of the International Chinese Eight-Ball Association (ICEA)
ICEA was launched in London in 2012 by the Chinese company JOY Billiards Promotion Co., Ltd. The ICEA has now 40 national members and was officially recognised as the worldwide governing body of Chinese Pool by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) in 2017.
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is one of the three major sub-organizations of the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), which has jurisdiction over the billiard sports as a whole. The WCBS is a member of the International Olympic family. That is to say, via the correlation with the WPA, the ICEA is part of the International Olympic family and has independent authority over the sport of Chinese Pool.
II. On the legitimacy of the “Chinese Pool Global Promoters Summit”
According to the Statement, ICEA is suspected of being “involved in a global conference” in China, which is purportedly “illegal.” We ask the CBSA to check up on the facts before any official release: Since 2018, the Chinese Pool Global Promoters Summit has been consecutively held in Qinhuangdao, China for three years, and has become a cutting-edge summit in the Chinese Pool industry. The event is presented by the JOY Billiards Promotion Co., Ltd, a legally operated company in China. For this year’s summit, they invited some ICEA member units and the board of directors to the conference, as they are simultaneously their worldwide agents. ICEA on its own has not participated in the “hosting or preparation” of this conference. Therefore, we refute the statement that “ICEA is suspected of hosting a global conference in China”, which is merely a subjective conjecture.
III. On the rationality of CBSA’s disciplinary actions towards Wang Baitao and other Chinese referees
We are deeply sorry and puzzled to hear that your association has decided to revoke Mr.Wang Baitao’s national referee title, as well as the national titles of the other ICEA-awarded referees, simply based on them receiving referee titles within the ICEA system.
As mentioned above, ICEA, an affiliate of the World Pool-Billiard Association, has the solemn right to establish an international referee network of Chinese Pool. Lately, we have qualified two referees including Mr.Wang Baitao as the “ICEA International Gold Award Referee” based on their skill level and contribution to the sport. Your actions have sabotaged what should be a memorable event for Chinese Pool. ICEA has no right to concern ourselves with the internal affairs of your association, but we must state that your unjustifiable resolution poses a challenge to the authority of the WPA and the ICEA as world governing bodies.
At a time when Chinese Pool continues to grow its international ground, it seems more inappropriate. It should be noted that our association is classified in China as a non-governmental oversea organization, not an illegal organization. In the context of China’s increasing opening up to the outside world, how to unite all the forces that can be friends in the world and do a better job at home and abroad should be a matter of reflection for your association.
IV. On the Chinese Pool World Cup matters
The Chinese Pool World Cup will be the highest form of international Chinese Pool tournaments. It is presented by the ICEA following the consent of our board of directors. We have sent a letter to you in October 2019 to inform the official date and place of the tournament and invite you to send a team to participate. In the letter, we reserved the right to entrust other units in China to form a team if you do not wish so. According to the laws and regulations in China, this team will not be considered a national team and may not be named as “Team China.”
As we received no official reply from you within the due date, we entrust China’s Qinhuangdao JOY Billiards Promotion Co., Ltd. to form a team, in the name of the “China Dragon Team”, the only non-state team among dozens of participating teams in the world. We express our regret over it. However, it needs to be emphasized and clarified that if Chinese athletes participate as non-state teams, your association has no basis to punish them. In the Statement, your association threatened to “deal with the players involved seriously,” which only seems to be an abuse of power, and the ICEA will continue to pay attention to this. If they are penalized in the future, we will see it as a boycott of a lawfully presented tournament and will report to WPA according to international practice.
And finally, we urge your association to review the trend of international sports development and abandon your previous prejudices. It is not a shame, but an honor of Chinese Pool that an international federation can be started by the Chinese people. If possible, we are always willing to work together with the CBSA to promote and prosper Chinese Pool throughout the world, and to build a great cause together.
International Chinese Eight-Ball Association
January 20th, 2020