Following the previously sent letter dated 26.02.2020, we would like to send you an update regarding the continuation of the above-mentioned events.
During the period between the letter, dated 26.02.2020, and now, the EPBF board and the Finnish Billiard Federation, as the host of the above-mentioned events, did monitor very carefully the situation with regards to the COVID-19 virus. During this period there was constant consultation between both organizations, which included a mutual daily update of the situation in Finland and in the rest of Europe.
Our positive attitude in the beginning became less day by day as it became clear that the measures to “fight” against the virus were becoming increasingly severe in Europe and even worldwide.
In fact, the measures taken are still increasing everywhere and the situation looks set to continue for several weeks, if not months.
At our daily meeting from Monday 16.03.2020 it soon became clear that continuation of the above-mentioned events is not an option anymore There are too many uncertainties about how this virus, with the associated measures worldwide, will develop. The Finnish Government has stated that all events of 500+ people will be cancelled and recommends all smaller sports events to be cancelled too until the end of May 2020. Both, the Finnish Billiards Federation and the EPBF, take their responsibility to herewith officially announce the cancellation of the above-mentioned events, planned in Tampere / Finland in May 2020.
It goes with out saying that this was not an easy decision, especially for the Finnish Billiards federation, who did put a lot of time & efforts in the preparation for these events. On behalf of the EPBF family I want to thank the Finnish Billiards Federation for all the work they did so far and I can only guarantee that we, as the EPBF board, will be open for a re-schedule of these events in Finland in the upcoming years.
A thank you also to the management of the Solos Sokos Hotel Torni and Original Sokos Villa. It was great to hear that the management of both hotels were always Open and flexible for our partner.
With this official statement of cancellation, the question naturally arises will these events be re-scheduled?
It is not possible to look into the future, but it is the Turkish Billiard Federation that has offered to organize the EC M-W-U23 & Wheelchair athletes 2020 in November along or together with the European Championship for Seniors & Ladies. A quick look at the dates and the events around the planned dates in November 2020 did show that it will be very hard to have an extra 11 days planned. So, now the EPBF board and the Turkish Billiards Federation are investigating what the possibilities are to host the EC M-WU23 & Wheelchair athletes in combination with the EC Seniors & Ladies. This all is still in the initial phase which means that nothing is decided yet. We are only investigating if it is possible to do. We keep you all posted in this matter.
The EPBF treasurer did inform that there are already a few federations who did pay their entry fee for the European Championships in Finland. As the payment deadline was yesterday it could be possible that even a few more members did make the payment during the weekend.
If you did pay the entry fee already then there are 2 possibilities:
a) The federation can decide to leave the payment at the EPBF account, and the amount will be deducted from the entry fee of the upcoming European Championships
b) contact our treasurer to be re-funded. If you didn’t make the payment yet, then it is up to each member if they still want to pay it (and then deduct the amount from future EC bills) or not.
As mentioned already. It is with pain in the Hart that we had to take the decision as made but we are all of the opinion that the health of our Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Spectator’s and all their families is the most important and need to be at priority 1. We of course hope that the situation soon will be normal and that we then all can return to our daily business.
On behalf of the Finnish Billiards Federation and the EPBF board we wish you all the best and strength to overcome this COVID-19 (Corona) virus and we hope to see you all soon at the European Championships U17, U19 and Girls and / or at the Euro Tour Event in June in Sankt Johann im Pongau (that is still planned to be held).
With kind regards
Gre Leenders, President EPBF