Rough start EMTC: Spain withdraws, France without head coaches
The European Mixed team championships is about to kick off in Leuven, Belgium, on Wednesday morning, but things have not gone smoothly for two of the 12 participating countries.
A few days ago, right after the Spanish National Championships was over, former National player Pablo Abian was calling on a petition to sign to support his case against the Spanish Federation, who had not put his name down on the list of participants for the European Championships, in spite of his Gold medal in the Nationals.
Last night, a statement from Badminton Europe explained that the whole Spanish team was not to travel to Leuven, for another problem. "Spain was drawn into group 3, together with reigning champion Germany and Scotland. The Spanish Badminton Federation has informed Badminton Europe last night that they withdraw their team from participation in the 2015 European Mixed Team Championships due to internal issues around player publicity rights. Due to the withdrawal of the Spanish team Germany and Scotland are through to the quarter-finals". An easy path for quarter finals for both Scotland and Germany while Spain had promised to be a tough opponent with reigning World Champion Carolina Marin as part of the team.
French head coaches suspended
Another team has arrived in Leuven with lots in their minds - France's best players will compete without their two head coaches both for singles and doubles - Bertrand Gallet and Svetoslav Stoyanov. The majority of the French players have been arguing with the French BA (FFBAD) that they didn't want to participate in the upcoming European Games in Baku because it was in the way of their Olympic preparation - the event does not give any qualifying points and is being held at the same time as two Grand Prix tournaments in Canada and in the USA which do offer important points.
On their end, the French BA want to send the best team in Azerbaijan to try to collect important medals for the nation. A clash was very close to happen as the players threatened not to go to Leuven to make their point. Few minutes before the team was about to drive from INSEP to leuven, they heard that their head coaches were suspended for taking part in the dispute.
Both sides are now using media and social network to explain their point of view - France's top shuttler Brice Leverdez has published a poll on his Facebook Page on whether it was more important to have a medal at the European Games or at the Olympics.
The French team has arrived in Leuven nevertheless and should be participating in the competition before a probable further discussion after the tournament with French officials.
France will be the first team to play on Wednesday against Sweden.
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