In a significant development, Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) has officially acquired the World Padel Tour (WPT) from its organisers, Damm. This move marks the consolidation of the global professional padel tour, now operating under the auspices of QSI, as announced on Thursday.
The racket sport, which has been experiencing a surge in popularity in recent years, will henceforth be recognised as the Premier Padel Tour. Regulatory oversight will be under the International Padel Federation (FIP), ensuring standardized governance for the sport.
While specific financial details of the acquisition remain undisclosed, QSI's intervention has effectively quashed the power struggle that had ensnared the privately-owned WPT since its establishment in 2013. By securing the business assets of WPT and amicably resolving lingering disputes, QSI has paved the way for a harmonised trajectory in the sport.
However, a temporary duality will persist. Both the distinct WPT and Premier Padel tours are set to carry on with their scheduled events until the culmination of 2023. Thereafter, a momentous amalgamation will occur, uniting competitions under the banner of the FIP's Premier Padel starting the following year.
QSI Chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, expressed the historical significance of this union for the sport of padel. He stated, "This is an historic moment for the sport of padel, ultimately seeing the two leading professional padel tours unified as one single global Premier Padel tour." Al-Khelaifi further emphasised QSI's dedication to nurturing the global growth of padel while prioritising the athletes' centrality in this endeavour.
Notably, QSI boasts ownership of Paris St Germain, the reigning champions of French Ligue 1 soccer, with Al-Khelaifi also serving as the club's president. This diversification of sporting interests underscores QSI's commitment to fostering excellence across various athletic domains.