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Cuesports Singapore’s suspension by Asian body lifted

Cuesports Singapore has averted possible expulsion as a member of the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports (ACBS) after reaching an amicable resolution with the governing body on Jan 23.

The local association has been suspended since February 2023 for hosting the 2022 World Billiards Championship and Singapore English Billiards Open without sanction from either ACBS or the International Billiards and Snooker Federation.

The ban also meant several Singapore players, including former world No. 1 Aloysius Yapp, were barred from competing in 2023 tournaments such as the Aug 28-Sept 2 Formosa Cup ACBS Asian Pool Championships and the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA)-sanctioned Maldives Open in April.

Cuesports Singapore president Christopher Chuah and vice-presidents Ivan Lim and Paul Pang reached an “amicable solution” with ACBS after meeting its officials in Jakarta on Jan 23. Chuah told The Straits Times: “Both parties proceeded on the basis that it was a misunderstanding from us on the requirements of holding the tournaments.

“ACBS understood that the decision to host the World Billiards Championship was made by the former board of Cuesports Singapore, with the current board taking over only from July 2023. We agreed that moving forward we will not hold unsanctioned tournaments and will continue to collaborate for the greater interest of the sport.”

He added that the reprieve was timely, given that an expulsion could mean a loss of its national sports association (NSA) status.

Chuah said: “If we had got suspended again or expelled, we could be in serious problems given the potential loss of our standing as an NSA by SNOC. We are relieved and grateful this issue has been resolved.

“It has been the only blight on our record from the inception of Cuesports Singapore and its predecessors, but we will now focus again on improving our local game and raising standards here while working in line with ACBS policies and guidelines.”

In a statement on its website, ACBS said the decision will be ratified and endorsed at the annual general meeting in Doha in mid-February. 

“We now leave the past behind and move forward to support Cuesports Singapore in their future development in the region.”

For individuals like Yapp, however, there are still complications to navigate. The WPA, the international governing body for pool, and event promoter Matchroom Multi Sport Limited are still embroiled in an ongoing dispute. They had been partners for 20 years.

Yapp and other cue sports players have until March to choose between playing in either WPA or Matchroom events. Choosing the latter will mean they will lose ranking points and be barred from participating in national, continental and global competitions under the WPA.

Chuah said: “We sincerely hope that the current issues between them can also be amicably resolved.”