PtG Article 14.08.2018

SUP World Cup cancelled after court decision on federation ownership

The International Canoe Federation has had to cancel their inaugural stand-up paddle World Cup after Portuguese sports court decides not to recognize canoeing’s authority to stage the event.

The legal battle about whether the sport of surfing or canoeing is the right federation to govern the sport of Stand-up paddle (SUP), surfing or canoeing, continues after a Portuguese sports court has ruled not to allow the International Canoe Federation (ICF) to stage its first SUP World Cup in Portugal.

According to the court’s decision, the national surfing federation is the exclusive federation of stand-up paddle in Portugal.

“It is with great regret that the ICF announces today the cancellation of this month’s SUP World Championships in Portugal,” the ICF said in a statement.

“Unfortunately the ICF was left with no choice following the local Portugal court challenge led by Portuguese surfing and the ISA against the Portuguese Canoe Federation.”

The ICF and the ISA have been fighting for more than 18 months over who is the rightful controller of the sport Stand-up paddle (SUP) without reaching any compromise.

While the ICF regretted the situation and is currently contemplating how a World Championship can be staged in under ICF management this year, the International Surfing Association (ISA) is happy with the court decision and sees it as a consolidation of surfing’s involvement in the sport.

“This news is important to the ISA as it, once more, reinforces our standing as the sole governing body for StandUp Paddle,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre in a statement on the decision.

“In addition, the ruling further underlines the importance of exclusivity within world sport – an idea that is important to the Olympic Movement – and gives the ISA momentum as we continue to move through CAS Arbitration. With this ruling, we move one step closer to a resolution and ultimately, ensuring the athletes can be best served by a single governing body.”

According to the ICF, governing bodies cannot have exclusivity of a certain sport and hopes that CAS will support that stand.

“We are happy to allow the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on the question of whether the ISA is legally entitled to exclusive control over the sport of SUP. The ICF has always been in favour of using CAS to resolve this dispute under the Court's usual legal processes,” said an ICF statement about the upcoming CAS arbitration.

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