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WDF announces it has ceased to recognise BDO tournaments

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 05 Dec 2019
The news comes as a further blow for the BDO (Photo by PA Images)

The World Darts Federation has announced it will no longer recognise British Darts Organisation operated tournaments with immediate effect.

The WDF released a damning letter addressed to its members stating it “will not recognise BDO operated tournaments”, citing a breach of rules and draw changes which occurred at the recent World Masters.

As a result, now the BDO has been downgraded to Associate Member status, meaning it is no longer the governing body for darts in the country.

The letter, dated December 1, states: ‘The WDF Executive has concluded that we cannot be a part of or support such activities and does not endorse the actions of the BDO.

‘With rule changes as well as draw changes during their competition there is opportunity for alleged violations to be construed as match fixing.

‘This situation could place our member country organisations and their players in a compromising position.

‘The WDF refuses to be associated with such actions.’

The letter ends by stating the WDF is in the process of implementing a global circuit which will see WDF major events made through their own ranking systems.

This could potentially jeapoardise the future of major BDO tournaments formerly recognised by the WDF, including the World Championship and World Masters.

BDO Chairman Des Jacklin responded by hastily posting a statement on Facebook which read:

Jacklin has since written a letter to the BDO counties stating December 3 was the first contact he had with the WDF over the issue and that the WDF have ‘acted purely on information gathered from social media and hearsay.’

He then accused the WDF of being ‘unlawful’ and ‘trying to kill the company’ and revealed the matter is now in the hands of a solicitor.

The news comes as another blow to the BDO, which announced earlier this year it was to leave Lakeside after 33 years, as well as losing its entire refereeing team and long-term brand partner Winmau.

Ticket sales are said to have slumped for January’s World Championship at London’s O2 Indigo, with less than 2,000 sold across the entire tournament so far.

The World Darts Federation, formed in 1974, is the official governing body, which encourages the promotion of the sport in an effort to gain international recognition for darts.