The IFF Central Board (CB) has taken the decision to cancel all of the upcoming qualification events for the Women’s World Floorball Championships 2021. The five regional events were scheduled to be played in May – June, however, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make the situation for preparation and travel very difficult in most countries.
– During the meeting, many of the Central Board members stressed that it is first and foremost our duty to take care of the safety and well-being of all players and officials, hence with all uncertainty with Covid-19, it leaves us with the only option to cancel the WFCQ, however sad it is, said IFF President Tomas Eriksson.
Of the 25 teams registered to participate in the qualifications, 11 had advised that they definitely could not participate, with a further five indicating that their participation was highly doubtful. Most countries advised that the travel restrictions, including testing and quarantine rules, as well as the lack of preparation due to local regulations were the main reasons for non-participation. Securing full insurance cover is also difficult for many due to their government’s ‘Do No Travel’ orders.
The IFF has had ongoing communication with the event organisers and participating teams since mid-2020. All of the qualification events were postponed from their original dates (in January/February) and the situation in each country has been regularly reviewed via a Go/No-go policy which is now in place for all IFF events.
The CB decision was primarily based on a proposal from the IFF Rules & Competition Committee who met on Sunday 11th April to discuss the situation of the qualifications in relation to Covid-19. Initially, the meeting was called to discuss how the qualification system would need to be changed, in the case of one or more events being cancelled, or groups being played with a reduced number of teams. Based on the replies from the WFCQ participating teams, it became evident that to proceed with the qualification events was becoming increasingly difficult. The extra costs that could be incurred by a national association, especially in the case of a positive test while at the event, or a sudden change in Covid-19 regulations, was also raised.
The number of possibilities of what might happen in each qualification group, and how many teams would be able to participate, created too much uncertainty to be able to create any new qualification system that would be equal and fair to all involved. For these reasons, it was the opinion of the IFF RACC that all qualification events for the Women’s WFC 2021 should be cancelled.
John Liljelund, IFF Secretary General, says that the matter has been carefully discussed within the IFF office as well as now the RACC:
– It is maybe, at this time, more important that all the resources and efforts of the IFF member associations are being directed towards a return back to floorball within their own communities, instead of the qualifications.
According to a previous decision of the IFF Central Board, in the event of qualifications not being played, the qualifying teams for the final round will be based on current rankings and the regional quotas according to the qualification system. This means that the Women’s WFC 2021 will have the following teams:
|Group A/B||Group C/D|
|Sweden (1)*||Norway (9)|
|Switzerland (2)||Denmark (10)|
|Finland (3)||Estonia (11)|
|Czech Republic (4)||Australia (12)|
|Slovakia (5)||Japan (13)|
|Poland (6)||Singapore (14)|
|Latvia (7)||USA (16)|
|Germany (8)||Russia (17)|
A date for the ballot of the final groups has not yet been set. More information on that will follow in the coming weeks.
More information on WFC 2021 can be found on the event website.