Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

is among the world’s quickest rising sports activities, a cross between tennis and squash that’s loved by Andy Murray, Jürgen Klopp and hundreds of others throughout the UK. However the way forward for padel might quickly be fought not solely on the courtroom however within the courtroom – after the game’s governing physique accused the Worldwide Tennis Federation (ITF) of attempting to mount a “hostile” takeover.

The Guardian can reveal that on Friday the Worldwide Padel Federation (FIP) filed a case towards the ITF on the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport amid claims that tennis is attempting to make a “hostile try to take over the governance of padel with out the consent of FIP or its members”.

It comes because the ITF prepares to vote at its AGM in Glasgow on Monday on a proposal to “broaden its scope to develop and govern padel on behalf of its members”.

Padel, which was invented in Mexico within the Sixties, has grown quickly in recent times and develop into probably the most standard participation sports activities in Spain, Sweden, Argentina and Italy. Britain can also be catching up quick with over 89,000 lively gamers. There are additionally rival skilled excursions and the game can also be lobbying for inclusion within the Olympics.

Nonetheless, padel’s recognition has additionally attracted the curiosity of the ITF, which needs to carry it into tennis’s wider remit.

The ITF’s AGM agenda states: “Upon together with padel in its scope, the ITF would have the mandate from the ITF members to behave as the worldwide governing physique with the overall goals of harmonisation of sporting guidelines, fostering the expansion and growth of padel, advancing padel’s pursuits and selling its integrity and status.”

Nonetheless the president of FIP, Luigi Carraro, has advised the ITF that such a transfer could be a “critical breach” of the Olympic Constitution.

“All through the game’s existence, the ITF has by no means had any involvement in padel … and there’s no foundation – legally, constitutionally, virtually or in any other case – for it to say any position within the administrative affairs of the game,” added Carraro in a letter, which has been seen by the Guardian, this week.

“It goes with out saying that FIP stands ready to take instant and sturdy motion ought to ITF take any motion impacting upon FIP’s authorized rights,” it provides.

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“ITF’s actions would even be a critical breach of the ideas of the Olympic Constitution and IOC [International Olympic Committee] Code of Ethics, which clarify that sports activities should have the ability to operate autonomously … and chorus from acts or statements prone to tarnish the picture of a rival federation or harm it in any approach.”

A spokesperson for the ITF stated: “Over 100 of the ITF’s nationwide tennis affiliation members already lead or are actively contributing to the event of Padel tennis world wide and far of the expansion of the game is occurring in tennis golf equipment given the crossover and talent to share infrastructure, together with gamers, coaches, officers, and services.

“Consequently, the ITF has been requested by its members to contemplate how we will help them within the international growth of Padel and they’ll vote on this at our AGM. Ought to the nationwide associations vote in favour of us taking part in a task, the ITF would endeavour to progress in collaboration with current stakeholders, together with FIP and different tour organisers.”

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