The French Judo Federation have lost the organization of the biggest Grand Slam in the IJF World Tour to Russia. The French are furious and the IJF sticks to its calendar without Paris which was schedued at 8-9 May and gave the organisation rapidly to Kazan in Russia. Given the close relationship between the biggest European Federation in Europe with the IJF, the EJU and the IJF General Secretariat, this is at least a remarkable development. Corona was by far not the reason for the cancellation.
Clearly some French Federation has been sleeping and clearly some people will have had benefit of the change to Russia and not many people felt the need to pick up the contact, despite a paper warning from the IJF. The French Judo Federation hits back with a communique on its website.
The new president of FFJudo Stéphane Nomis, after a phase of collective reflection aimed at seeking solutions to reduce costs given the probable absence of the public (in particular by considering a Stade de Coubertin option as in the good old days), had just obtained the support of everyone, in order to keep French judo at the forefront.
However the French Judo Federation then received a letter from the International Judo Federation informing it of its decision not to leave this date to France for the organisation of its tournament and Russia was granted the Grand Slam to the city of Kazan.
Contract not returned to the IJF despite warnings
The reason was a four-year renewal contract in July 2020 was reportedly sent to the French Judo Federation, to which the latter did not react when it had several months to do so.The French were indecisive in the change of direction. Despite the immediate request from the French judo presidency to reconsider its decision the IJF upheld its decision.
The IJF wants to determine its calendar in difficult circumstances. Given that the contract was not returned last November it is still a break of tradition.
On the other hand IJF didn’t warn the French Federation with a phone call about the unreturned contract. The general secretary of the IJF, Jean-Luc Rouge is French and former president of the Federation. Same for the Vice President of the IJF and EJU President from Russia, a friend of the current French president Stéphane Nomis did not notify the French on takeover by the Russians.
Nomis, is the in advisory board of the EJU President and his company delivered the EJU its website.
Paris after the Tokyo Games
Previously the Paris tournament was once organized in October due to the rebuilding of the Bercy stadium to the Accor Arena. The option is to organise the Grand Slam after the Tokyo Olympic Games. Without any guarantee of being able to have Bercy, and with the certainty of not having many people if the Games have just taken place. What is certain is that the Russians will win a strategic date in the affair, with the possibility of organizing at home, with four representatives, in the home stretch of the ranking points distribution.
The tournament in Paris was organised for the first time ... fifty years ago, in 1971. 2021 was the anniversary date of the first major international tournament in the world, its greatest historical success in terms of atmosphere and attendance.
Kazan was previously organizer of the European Judo Championships in 2016 and the FISU Universiade in 2013. It is a true sports capital always in for events if the opportunity is presented on a plate by the IJF.