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”I think padel will become a sport in the Olympics soon”

The President of the International Padel Federation, FIP, Luigi Carraro talks about the potential double European Championships, the chance of padel becoming an Olympic sport: ”We are working hard with the International Olympic Committee and the European Olympic Committee.”

On the occasion of the renewal of the FIP's agreement with the main sponsor Cupra, Padel Alto had the chance to talk to the FIP president Luigi Carraro. The Italian Carraro was elected president of the FIP in November 2018 and has been the top executive. 

One of the main points discussed at the meeting was how the two padel stakeholders would work together to ensure that one-day padel could become an Olympic sport. 

– I think padel will become a sport in the Olympics soon. We are working hard with the International Olympic Committee and the European Olympic Committee. Our first step is to get paddle into the European Games in 2023 ( in Krakow, Poland, ed.), and I'm pretty sure that will happen. After that, it will be much easier to become an Olympic sport as well," FIP President Luigi Carraro says.  

He continues:


- People ask me: `Do you want to be an exhibition sport in the Olympics?` and I say no: ”We want to be an official sport.” Padel is a sport that exists worldwide, on all continents, and nowadays the TV broadcasts are excellent, so I'm sure we'll be an official Olympic sport pretty soon.

Carraro says the main thing padel needs is promotion.

– Padel only needs one thing, and that is for people to experience it. Everyone who tries playing padel loves padel. We need to showcase it to men and women all over the world," Carraro says firmly. 

Why is padel progressing so fast right now? 

Here are four points Carraro raises.

  1. The first time you play padel, you tend to enjoy it, and you have the feeling you can play. If you try golf or tennis, it will take months before you can really "play." 
  2. Women. Half of all people who play are women, so the padel has a big advantage compared to other sports.
  3. Padel is spectacular to watch. If you go to a club you will see that there are often people watching, it doesn't even have to be a great match, but there is always something to interest anyway. 
  4. Another thing is financial. Everyone who sets up a padel club/padel hall makes money, it's easy to build, and you don't need a lot of space. 

At least on the schedule, it looks that there will be two European Championships this year - just like in 2019. Then both FIP, the International Padel Federation, and FEPA, the European Padel Federation, organized a European Championship, where everything came down to a conflict. 

Carraro doesn't think that will happen this time - and you can see that it's not the FIP but the FEPA that will have to make do. 

– I'll be frank with you, I don't think there will be two European Championships. We only have one official European Championship, and it will be played in Spain (Marbella) in June/July. 19 countries have already registered to play in the European Championship. A month ago, we received a letter from CAS clearly stating that the only official European Championship that will be played is the one organized by FIP. What happened in 2019 was not good and only affected the paddle. This European Championship will be a fantastic event. 

Do you know if this means that FEPA will still organize what they call the European Championships?

– I don't know, but I don't think so because we have been mandated to hold the official European Championship. If someone else does it, they will get a seven-month suspension and a 100,000 SEK fine, as CAS has announced. 

How is your dialogue with FEPA?

- I don't talk to them. What I know is that Spain has left this organization. We are focused on ourselves. 

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