First, I want to thank all members for their time & efforts made to come to their final decision. We can imagine that these kinds of decisions are not the easiest once to make.
Before I come to the final decision made by the EPBF board and the host in Turkey (the Turkish Billiard Federation) I would like to express my enormous thanks on behalf of the EPBF, and I am convinced that we are speaking on behalf of all EPBF members, to the Turkish Billiard Federation for all the hard work they have done to make the event possible. We are very grateful because from the beginning there was always the possibility that the events could be cancelled, but nevertheless those responsible within the Turkish Billiard Federation did continue to believe in it and everything has been done to keep the possibility open.
After all the answers from our members were received, we did also look, in addition to the “cold figures”, at the Covid-19 Pandemic situation within Europe and even beyond. The numbers of participation countries & athletes are of course important, but it is also absolutely our responsibility to monitor the health of athletes, coaches, staff and administrators. The Covid-19 pandemic is currently developing in a dangerous direction. Everywhere where we look, and that is also what a large part of our members have stated, the number of infections is increasing, and stricter measures are already in force in several countries.
After considering all aspects that belong to a responsible decision, it has been decided to cancel the European Championships M-W-WHC-U23-S-L, as well as the Euro Tour Women & Men planned in November in Antalya / Turkey. It goes without saying that this decision was not easy, but both the EPBF Board and our partner in Turkey - The Turkish Billiard Federation -, believe that this decision is the only correct decision.
For our pool sport as such this cancellation is of course a drama. This means that the year 2020 is a year where no European Championship has been held and so this also means that the Covid-19 Pandemic has taken a considerable toll on our organization and it seems that we also have to take the Covid-19 pandemic into account in the coming period.
With this statement that 2020 is a lost year for the EPBF, we must of course also look forward again. We should be grateful that we are still healthy which brings us right back to the fact that our thoughts are with all the families who did lose their loved once to this pandemic.
We hope that we have informed you all enough for the moment and wish you all the very best. We look forward to 2021 and hope that we can welcome you all again at the first European Championship M-W-WHC-U23 that is scheduled in Antalya / Turkey. After all the misery in 2020, I think the Turkish Billiard federation deserves to be able to organize this upcoming European Championship.
Keep Safe & Healthy.
Gre Leenders, President EPBF