This year we won't have “the real picture of world padel by national teams” either. Bad luck? The European Qualifier #XVIPadelWorldChampionship Dubai 2022
Because we love international competitions for national teams, because many of the participating players make a living as padel instructors and, because we will be in Dubai enjoying the world championship live, we will bring you a series of articles about the XVI Padel World Championship, Dubai 2022.
31 days to go
Yesterday, 28 September, the group draw for the European qualifiers took place.
The results of the draws are as follows:
Why do I say that we are going to be left, once again, without knowing the real picture of world padel?
Simply because one of the strongest men's teams in Europe will not be able to participate in the World Championship. Unfortunately, either Sweden (European ranking #4) or Portugal (once the second European power) will be left out.
Fortune has placed them in the same group and only the top of the group will play in the quarter-finals.
You may think that this circumstance is the fault of bad luck, the randomness of the draw, but sadly this is not the case:
If the Portuguese Padel Federation had decided to participate in the last World Championship (Doha 2020/1), with almost total certainty it would have been directly qualified for this World Championship,
or if it had decided to participate in the last European Championship (Malaga 2021), as Sweden did, it would almost certainly have obtained results that would have ensured it would be seeded to avoid being in the same group as Sweden (although they could still cross paths in the quarter-finals).
Note: The same could have happened on the female side. Here the luck has been good :-)
It is perhaps pointless to go through this exercise of assumptions now. Still, it may serve to keep in mind that there are political decisions taken by presidents of national federations that have deprived:
- their national players from participating in the biggest padel event in the world
- the fans and family members from enjoying watching them play
- and everyone from having a real picture of world padel (pity…, in recent years international padel has evolved a lot, very fast and at different rates)
However, let's not allow this stop us from enjoying these qualifiers and let's comment on the purely sporting aspects:
Remember that there are only three places available on the men's side and two on the women's side.
On the women's side, the clear favourites for the two places are Portugal and Sweden. Another result would be a big surprise.
On the men's side, one place will go to either Sweden or Portugal, and the strongest candidates in principle would be: Germany, UK or Poland, without totally ruling out the Netherlands (with Denmark being the other big loser of the draw as they will have to face the winner of the group of Sweden and Portugal).
Best of luck to all teams!