The ITTF met with the ETTU to discuss a series of issues ©ITTF

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) says it has held a positive meeting with European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) officials in Doha, which included discussions over the future calendar, working rankings and event categories.

The meeting was held alongside the inaugural World Table Tennis Star Contender event, which was held at the Lusail Sports Hall in Doha.

The Star Contender event followed a contender competition held earlier this month as the inaugural WTT series launched.

ETTU President Igor Levitin attended the meeting with his deputy Pedro Moura and Presidential aide Ilya Kositsyn.

The ITTF were represented by Executive Committee members Khalil Al-Mohannadi, Petra Sörling and Zoran Primorac, along with chief executive Steve Dainton and staff members Raul Calin and Mounir Bessah.

The ETTU said it wanted to negotiate solutions for issues raised by a number of European National Associations with the ETTU Executive Board.

The ETTU said the organisation specifically raised the question about the rating process, the procedure for awarding points, as well as the events calendar.

The continental body said it submitted proposals and recommendations from its member associations, with positive answers received on a number of questions.

The ETTU say other issues will require a decision of the ITTF Executive Committee.

A question was also raised over European players who will not be able to visit the hub in China due to COVID-19 protocols.

The ETTU said that for these athletes the organisation plans to hold tournaments in May and June, where WTT and ITTF have been invited to serve as partners.

The meeting was held alongside a WTT competition in a bubble format in Doha ©Getty Images
The meeting was held alongside a WTT competition in a bubble format in Doha ©Getty Images

"It was a very positive meeting and with some concrete outcomes that the ITTF will work on to ensure the European Table Tennis membership feel they are being heard and listened to," said Sörling, the ITTF vice-president of finance and Executive Committee member responsible for European Affairs.

"Europe is a continent with a strong tradition in our sport and that have club structures and systems different to other continents.

"Therefore, finding solutions that can strengthen those structures and systems is important for the ITTF and WTT to consider and understand."

Dainton added that the ITTF will look at solutions to ensure players and associations feel more engaged.

"It was excellent to talk frankly and directly face to face with our friends from the European Table Tennis Union in a positive and solution orientated approach," Dainton said.

"Whilst the ITTF and WTT may not be able to solve all of the issues we will definitely look seriously at how to make some changes to ensure players and associations feel more engaged in the future of our sport."

The ITTF and ETTU added that a separate meeting was held to address World Table Tennis issues, the Master Continental Agreement and other development related aspects.