French Water Polo Promotional League (LPWP) published the schedule earlier this week according to which the championship was supposed to begin this weekend. However, it turned out that none of the games were played. The reason for this is the disagreement between the French Swimming Federation and the LPWP. It is based on the fact that French Swimming Federation and LPWP accepted and published different championship schedules.
On October 6, Gilles Sezionale, Head of the French Swimming Federation, wrote to the clubs explaining the circumstances and current dispute with LPWP. Namely, a meeting was held in June gathering representatives of the clubs from the Pro A Feminine league, French Swimming Federation and LPWP. The meeting’s purpose was to suggest a formula of the new championship with three new teams integrated and to define the calendar for the 2017/2018 season taking into account several factors including the division entry fees, national team’s calendar and establishing a training center for the players of the French team’s water polo players.
The first calendar was developed after this meeting, but after consideration, the League eventually did not accept it and developed another one. However, French Swimming Federation had already notified the clubs of the ‘first’ calendar according to which the beginning of the championship was scheduled for November 11. Early this week, the League published the new calendar according to which the championship was supposed to begin on October 28.
SEVERAL ISSUES ARISE
Water polo clubs are obviously the most affected by this dispute. Given that travel arrangements are often done in advance to make traveling less expensive, and the pools are also filled in advance… Hence it is unclear which calendar should the water polo clubs follow. They now united in the Promotional League which manages the Pro A championships, but it is the French Federation which represents the State and therefore the sport.
Another problem is related to the work of referees. They are appointed and paid by the French Swimming Federation. The League itself appointed referees after launching ‘its’ calendar, but the Federation failed to agree with this procedure. It warned the referees not to respond favorably to the solicitations, otherwise, they would not be covered by federal insurance or paid for travel.
While the 3rd round matches of the men’s championship are already finished, no match has been played in women’s championship since May 27. This is a serious problem, harming the publicity of women’s water polo. It seems as if neither the Federation nor the League understands their roles, while water polo clubs are in a situation in which they have to choose a side. One thing is for sure – the players can’t wait to start playing.