World Championship Qualifier

August 25, 2021

England is disappointed in the response of the Italian Bridge Federation (FIGB) to the forfeiting of matches by their opponents in the European online world championship qualifier:

https://neapolitanclub.altervista.org/eng/ebl-qualifier-italian-federations-statement.html

We believe that international competitions should be free of unethical practice. We have introduced policies that prevent players being selected for England for at least 10 years if they have been convicted of unethical behaviour, and it is difficult to imagine that any England player would consent to play in a team with a player who had consistently acted improperly in international championships over a significant period. We congratulate all countries who have expressed their displeasure and fully support any decision our own open team makes when it is their turn to play Italy. International players have the right to decide whether or not they want to play against individuals who have taken advantage of them for years. FIGB’s statement seems to suggest that players who refuse to play against cheats and NBOs that permit this are acting dishonourably and, in some respect, losing credibility. We do not believe this to be the case.

Ian Payn

Chairman

English Bridge Union