The national body for snooker in Germany says it will do its utmost in its powers to ensure Simon Lichtenberg becomes a professional player.
The talented 20-year-old won the European Under 21 Championship in Sofia last weekend – a title which usually gives the winner a guaranteed place on the main tour circuit.
However, political differences within the game appear to have denied the German a place on the main tour as his governing body the German Billiard Union (DBU) is not a member of the newly launched global organisation the World Snooker Federation.
The World Snooker Federation (WSF) says it allows players to compete on the main tour if the national associations they represent are members. Prior to the European Championship the WSF set a deadline of January 31 to joinas members but for one reason or another the DBU didn’t join.
Launched last year, the WSF is a new global snooker body bringing together both amateur and professional snooker.
After Lichtenberg was crowned champion, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said he was going to look into the situation.
The DBU said in a statement it had written to World Professional Billiard and Snooker Association in the hope of securing Lichtenberg a tour place for at least the next two years. The DBU added it “cannot accept” the situation moving forward and association disputes should not be a hindrance for sportsmen and sportswomen.
The statement reads: “We are looking at current developments with regret, as we are now witnessing the fact that our sportsmen and sportswomen have to suffer political shifts. We cannot accept this condition.. As a sport, sportsmen and sportswomen are central to us. We are not interested in intrigue from competing associations.
“In an e-mail to WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson, we said that Simon Lichtenberg should receive a ticket to the Main Tour because of his performances at the European Snooker Championship, and that non-association disputes should not be a hindrance. We hope that those responsible for the WPBSA will decide in favor of the athlete.
“Simon Lichtenberg is a great athlete who can truly attribute the title “gentleman”. We have supported Simon Lichtenberg in recent years in international championships in sporting, financial and organisational sense.
“We are all the more pleased that his talent and diligence allowed him to win this European title.”