SINGAPORE – Singapore has qualified for this year’s World Floorball Championship (WFC) based on its world rankings after the International Floorball Federation (IFF) announced on Wednesday (April 14th) that the qualifying events had been canceled.
The republic, ranked 14th in the world, will be supported by 15 other countries, including the host country Sweden, in Uppsala from November 27th to December 5th.
The five regional events were scheduled for May and June, but the IFF said in a statement on its website that “the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make the situation for preparation and travel very difficult in most countries”.
Singapore was scheduled to compete in Asia and Oceania qualifiers in Japan from June 29th to July 3rd. The other events should take place in Canada, Latvia, Italy and Slovakia.
International player Jowie Tan was relieved when she first heard the news as it meant they “don’t have to risk our risk when traveling overseas”.
“But then it was a bit sad that we were looking forward to a big competition and it has now been canceled,” added Tan, 28, whose last tournament with the national team was the last edition of the WFC in December 2019.
IFF President Tomas Eriksson said that the board of directors of the governing body “emphasized that it is our primary duty to ensure the safety and well-being of all players and officials the only way to cancel the (qualifying events) like sad it may be ”.
Of the 25 teams registered to participate in the qualifying tournaments, 11 said they could not participate and five more said their participation was “highly doubtful,” the IFF said.
The main reasons were travel restrictions, including inspection and quarantine rules, and the lack of preparation due to local regulations.
At the 2019 World Championships in Neuchatel, Switzerland, the Singapore women’s team achieved 12 of 16 teams, the best place since the tournament was converted to a one-division format in 2011.
That feat came shortly after they retained their gold medal at the 2019 SEA Games after beating Thailand 3-2 in the final.
Tan is eager to build on her performance but admitted that her 10th World Cup game will be difficult as her team hasn’t played a full six-on-six game since the pandemic.
“What we are missing is full time on the court, where we can play offensively and defensively the entire length of the court,” said Tan, adding that the team has been working on offensive play-ups to match as many Defensive to respond to scenarios as possible.
“There is a lot of pressure to maintain and improve the standard and quality of the game. We just have to trust our teammates and the coaching team and trust ourselves to have a good fight for the games. “
Teammate Mindy Lim hopes the current safe distancing measures, which only allow a group of eight people, can be relaxed so they can play a full game.
Singapore will host the next edition of the WFC in 2023, almost two decades after the Republic last hosted the tournament in 2005 when they finished eleventh of 17 teams in the two-division tournament.