In an attempt to prevent any competition to LEN's status as the European body affiliated to FINA and through which all continental competitions must flow, the European swimming league has called the Croatian Water Polo Federation to a disciplinary hearing.
The case will be significant beyond the world of water polo, with any challenge to the control of international swimming competitions likely to be met with the same robust response.
LEN's objection to Croatia's move to set up an independent water polo league comes down to a clause that all teams would have to sign up to: "a declaration on non‐participation in any other LEN European club competition".
LEN issued the following statement today:
As a consequence of the active promotion by Mr Predrag Sloboda, President of the Croatian Water Polo Federation, of an initiative aiming to establish an independent multinational water polo league for clubs without LEN's approval, a project that clearly undermines LEN's objectives and legitimate authority, a case against Mr Sloboda has been brought forward to the LEN Panel for Disciplinary Matters and Disputes.
As a registered LEN Federation, the Croatian Water Polo Federation is under the obligation to support LEN in achieving its objectives. Among other issues, the condition for eventual participation in this new competition of signing 'a declaration on non‐participation in any other LEN European club competition' [sic] is incompatible with the above mentioned duty.
LEN's Constitutional Rules must be upheld and enforced to ensure good governing and the promotion and development of Aquatics in Europe as stated in Constitutional Rule 4.1 as the first objective of LEN.