Snooker among cue sports targeting Paris 2024, federation chief says

Snooker - BetVictor Welsh Open Final - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales - 21/2/16 Neil Robertson in action during the final Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Rebecca Naden Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY

SOFIA (Reuters) - Snooker as well as two other cue sports - carom billiards and pool - deserves to be part of the Paris 2024 Olympic programme, the secretary general of the newly-formed World Snooker Federation (WSF) said on Wednesday.

Snooker unsuccessfully bid for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where baseball and softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding were granted spots as additional sports.

“We hope that, with the support of the French (cue sports) federation and the French Olympic Committee, we’ll find a way to bring billiard sports to the Olympics,” Maxime Cassis, who is also the chairman of the European Snooker Federation, said in Sofia.

“First of all, we have to decide if we select only one of the three sports or select the three of them. The plan is not established.

“We’re ready to support any of the sports and we have to work together. We have to listen to the people who select it.”

Cassis also said that snooker in particular expanded rapidly in recent years, adding its inclusion in the Olympic programme would be “the biggest achievement of the sport”.

“Our dream is to reach the Olympics, this is a big dream of of every snooker player,” he said. “Everybody will gain from it.”

Snooker officials say the sport is watched by nearly half a billion people worldwide and played competitively in almost 100 countries.

The summer Olympic programme currently includes 28 core sports after golf and rugby sevens were added ahead of the Rio 2016 Games.

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Christian Radnedge