The International Padel Federation –IPF- announced that the XV Padel World Championship will be held in Qatar from 16th to 21st November 2020. Is this good for padel?
Qatar is a recognized premium location for the organization of international sporting events. During the last fifteen years Qatar has hosted numerous international championships, including the 2006 Asian Games, 2009 FIVB Club World Championships, 2015 IHF Handball World Championships and 2016 UCI Road Cycling World Championships. The upcoming 2022 FIFA World Championship will be a highlight for the country.
Qatar, the location
Qatar was chosen ahead of the interest expressed by Italy and Brazil. According to IPF “…-IPF- takes a fundamental step for the development of Padel. This event will be a turning point for the growth of our sport. We are heading towards a new destination that is 100% committed to the sport…”
To Queco Catalan, Sports Director at IPF, this is a great step forward for padel. He added that organizing the World Championship in Qatar represents a great opportunity for the sport to reach new audiences and expand its frontiers. “I believe the world will be amazed by Qatar. The infrastructure and location are fantastic…”, explains Catalan.
The Padel World Championship will be hosted at The Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex . The center is owned and operated by the Qatar Tennis Federation and it is the home venue of the ATP World Tour’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open and WTA event Qatar Total Open.
But despite the good credentials one may argue that this event could present empty stands. After all, the sport is new in Qatar. “Not at all”, explains Catalan. “…the country has a population of nearly 3.000.000 people. 10.000 of them are padel fanatics. Many of them even follow the World Padel Tour. They are crazy about Padel. I believe that Padel will eventually become a national sport in Qatar… They will come to the event”
Qatar Tennis Federation, the event promoter
Some padel fanatics may be surprised to hear that the Qatar Tennis Federation will be the event organizer and promoter. But this is no issue to Catalan “The Qatar Tennis Federation, who is responsible for the event, organizes some of the most important ATP and WTA tennis tournaments in the world. They will bring this experience to padel. They are excited to show the world all the good they can bring and make it bigger…”.
Furthermore, Catalan is confident that the event promoter will exceed all expectations. “They won three yearly awards for Best Players Services for tennis tournaments. They can do this.”, he added.
Moving forward after the 2018 Paraguay Championship
The announcement is creating high expectations in the padel community. The 2018 World Championship in Paraguay was, to say it with a simple word, bad. In partnership with automotive brand Cupra, IPF is working to reinvigorate and professionalize its international events.
Started playing padel in Argentina in 1987. Contributor to the structural development of the sport in Holland since 2006. University lecturer in International Business, specialized in media, sports and entertainment. Senior padel coach, sports journalist, manager and pioneer. Eternal student.