WCF upholds suspension of Polish Curling Association

08 September 2020 11:41 Paweł Świątkowski

Two days ago the General Assembly of the World Curling Federation decided to uphold the suspension of Polish Curling Association as a member of WCF. PCA was initially suspended by the board in January for "bringing the sport into disrepute". This decision means that no Polish team can enter official competition held by the Federation, including European or World Championships.

Many Polish curlers appealed to WCF members to fully expel PCA from WCF to make room for a fresh start. PCA is plagued by scandals and many feel it is not interested in proper development of the sport in the country. Unfortunately, the proposal of expulsion has not been submitted, hence there was no voting on that issue.

This decision prolongs a stalemate in Polish curling and frankly might be the worst possible outcome for the players. The top athletes lose an incentive of possibility to represent their own country worldwide (although this incentive has been already reduced by PCA forcing players to finance the participation by themselves - and on top of that sometimes they had to pay additional fee to the Association). Newcomers will enter the turmoil of the conflict between the Association and the players. And no one can count on any financial aid, as PCA is also in conflict with the Ministry of Sports with a court case in progress. It all might lead to a huge decline in the sport.

One might of course point out that it were Polish curling players who wanted to expel PCA and the situation would be roughly the same: until a new organization would be admitted to WCF there would be no international starts and no money. The difference is subtle but meaningful: this would be an intentional sacrifice to be able to "press a reset button" and start anew. Now we do not know what the future will bring. For sure, Poland will be suspended for at least next 12 months, until the next General Assembly. But after that we might as well end up in the same point where we were a few months ago, with PCA back as the member, with the court case dragging on and no development in curling whatsoever.

In reponse to these events PCA published a note on their website incorrectly stating that they have been expelled from the WCF. Few hours later it was followed by another note correcting previous statement, saying that the decision was unfair and announcing plans to appeal.