The ITTF and DTTB have seemingly settled their differences on the WTT following a joint statement ©Getty Images

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the German Table Tennis Federation (DTTB) have settled their long-standing disagreement regarding the legality of the World Table Tennis (WTT), with the national body accepting its famous letter was "formulated emotionally and aggressively."

The ITTF and DTTB had been at odds since November 2020 following the International Federation officially forming the WTT, its event and commercial arm, the previous year.

The DTTB alleged its establishment violated "essential principles of good governance and transparency" in the letter.

An independent review by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found last year the WTT was organised with good governance and financial compliance as well as following all the relevant codes, regulations and confidentiality requirements.

In the most recent development, the ITTF and DTTB have set out a series of clarifications in a joint statement, as they attempt to move forward from the saga.

"The DTTB welcomes the ITTF's efforts to build a tournament series with the development of World Table Tennis, which it too hopes will make table tennis stronger in global competition with other sports and lead it successfully into the future," it read.

"In January 2021, the DTTB has declared that after PricewaterhouseCoopers had confirmed the legality of World Table Tennis's incorporation process around the master licence agreement, it considered its questions in this regard settled.

"As one of the federations that have at all times worked to improve the presentation of our sport, the DTTB supports the ITTF's belief that table tennis must be presented and marketed at a new level."

The statement continued: "In the field of international events, the DTTB has been an essential partner of the ITTF for decades, regularly hosting World Championships and major tournaments.

An independent report found that the WTT was formed under good governance ©Getty Images
An independent report found that the WTT was formed under good governance ©Getty Images

"It has built its national leagues and youth tournaments, its schedules, its federation structures and also the core of its funding on these international activities in high-performance sports.

"However, the establishment of World Table Tennis, and the far-reaching change of the ITTF tournament series, meant for the DTTB there were uncertainties for the future and, above all, concerns about its financial stability.

"Because the DTTB felt that it had not received conclusive information on important details of the World Table Tennis planning during the critical months despite multiple requests and did not feel involved in the planning of World Table Tennis, the DTTB decided to write the letter of 18-NOV-2020.

"This letter was formulated emotionally and aggressively under the circumstances prevailing at the time."

The DTTB issued that it "regrets" sending the letter to all ITTF members without initially handing it to the International Federation's Executive Committee for comment.

It also apologised for singling out certain people in the letter.

ITTF President Petra Sörling welcomed that a resolution had been found and said everyone involved could now move forward.

"As the new President of the ITTF, I am extremely pleased to bring this trying chapter to a close," Sörling said.

"All parties are now willing to end the pending proceedings as soon as possible.

ITTF President Petra Sörling hopes Germany will host a future WTT event in the future ©Getty Images
ITTF President Petra Sörling hopes Germany will host a future WTT event in the future ©Getty Images

"One of the most important goals of my Presidential manifesto was to unite the ITTF family because I believe in the strength of our family working together.

"The DTTB has been an essential partner of the ITTF for decades, and I am glad to resume constructive cooperation with a clear focus on the future.

"It is a federation with a long tradition but has always worked to improve our sport's presentation.

"I am convinced that together, we will make table tennis stronger, and I cannot wait to see a World Table Tennis event hosted in Germany."

Upon its release, the PwC report rejected the notion that national governing bodies were "never informed" about the "degree of influence and power and freedom of decision transferred to WTT" because the ITTF had held a number of meetings, information sessions, webinars and video conferences about the WTT from November 2017 to March 2020.

It also dismissed the DTTB's claim the WTT was now in "full control" of the international table tennis tournament system and could sell the rights for events without the ITTF's Continental Federations or the Board of Directors’ involvement.

The review said the ITTF rights had been licenced, not sold, and National Federations could still organise events if sanctioned by the ITTF.

The WTT was formally launched by the ITTF under the leadership of former President Thomas Weikert, who was previously DTTB President.

Sörling succeeded Weikert after being elected unopposed.