• World Cup of Pool to follow Spanish Open from June 27 to July 2 2023
  • Second of three announcements this week for Nineball in Spain
  • Nineball World No.1 Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide looking to defend title on home soil
  • Nineball World Ranking used as qualification and seedings for the first time

Defending World Cup of Pool champions Spain will get the opportunity to defend their crown on home soil with the 2023 edition set to take place from June 27 to July 2 at Pazo De Feiras E Congresos De Lugo just days after the completion of the inaugural Spanish Open Pool Championship live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in Spain.

World champion and Nineball world number one Francisco Sanchez Ruiz alongside confidant 2019 World Pool Masters winner David Alcaide will step out in Lugo looking to become the first country in the tournament’s history to defend their title and they will do it in front of a rapturous home crowd.

15 of the 32 countries competing have qualified from the Nineball World Rankings with the likes of two-time champions Austria, Great Britain, the USA, and Chinese Taipei amongst the sides to be on the seeded half of the draw. As host nation, Spain will also field a B team with rising stars Jose Alberto Delgado and Jonas Souto Comino set to join forces as the 16th seeded side.

The unseeded side will offer plenty of danger for the seeded countries with the 16 wild cards set to include China’s return to the international stage and three-time champions the Philippines with further countries to be confirmed over the coming weeks on the Matchroom Pool social media pages.

Guaranteeing each team at least £3,625, the World Cup of Pool is the only scotch doubles event on the Nineball World Tour with a total prize fund of $250,000 on offer.

Matchroom Multi Sport Managing Director Emily Frazer said: “What a festival of pool Lugo is going to have with an inaugural Spanish Open Pool Championship with 256 players and the prestigious World Cup of Pool, led by our new Nineball World No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz after an impressive 15-month run. We truly believe Spain is an untapped market for professional pool. The Nineball World Rankings are becoming the backbone of the tour, allowing players to fully earn their place in these events with the 15 top counties on the Nineball World Rankings seeded.”

“Both events will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and locally on DAZN in Spain as well as our extensive coverage worldwide. Thanks to our partners at the AGP to make this event happen.”

Matchroom’s World Cup of Pool will be played alongside an amateur tournament called XXXI Campeonato Gallego Billar Pool hosted by the AGP.

Tickets will go on sale Thursday, 6 April from only €5 a day. Sign up for ticket alerts here. 

16 seeded sides confirmed as below:

Great Britain
Chinese Taipei
Spain B

Alcaide cannot wait to defend the title: “Defending any title is always special, but in Spain, we will try even more to make it happen, I am super excited about the possibility of such a feat. Since we’ve known each other (Fran) we’ve always dreamed of this title, it was a dream when it happened, and now we are living out another one. It will be an extra motivation and I hope that for our rivals, the Spanish public will make them feel that pressure.”

Sanchez Ruiz added: “It’s amazing because last year, I said to David, this was the one we wanted to win. It meant so much to us both.  It will be special. The Spanish fans will be unbelievable, we have a lot of knowledgeable fans. I think it will be the best World Cup of Pool ever. It will be tough, we have all the pressure, everyone expects us to win it, but I will not think of that. We will think round by round. It’s rare to defend this title.”

Broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in Spain, Italy, USA and Brazil, the World Cup of Pool will be broadcast on Matchroom.Live for those without a broadcaster. See broadcasters so far below:

  • AMC Network    Hungary
  • Dazn                     Italy
  • Dazn                     Spain
  • Dazn                     USA & Brazil
  • Fox Sports           Australia
  • Nova                    Czech Rep/Slovakia
  • Sky Network       New Zealand
  • Sportklub             Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia
  • Supersport          South Africa & Africa
  • Tap                       Philippines
  • Viaplay                 Baltics
  • Viaplay                 Iceland
  • Viaplay                 Netherlands
  • Viaplay                 Poland
  • Viaplay                  Scandinavia
  • Vietcontent         Vietnam

In a string of announcements as part of Matchroom’s investment into Spain this week, the Spanish Open Pool Championship became the fifth signature 256-player field event on the Nineball World Tour calendar when announced yesterday. Find out more about that here.

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