20 October 2020
IWBF Europe Executive Council met online on Thursday 15th and on Friday 16th October to discuss the possible arrangement of the European Championship Men Division B due to be held in Athens, Greece from 15-23 November 2020.
With continuing uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic, the Executive Council considered whether is it responsible of the organisation to allow events to take place at this time. The World Health Organisation has confirmed already that Coronavirus is known to affect more severely persons with an existing disability, particularly those with affected respiratory function. The Council considered evidence of rising infection rates across many areas of Europe, and some government restrictions on travel are being implemented already. A decision needed to be made soon in order to manage unnecessary costs for the Organising Committee and participating nations.
In the past week Petr Tuček, Secretary General IWBF Europe has worked closely with the Local Organising Committee to identify what safe measures could be applied at the event.
However, taking all this into consideration, the Executive Council made the very difficult decision that it would not be appropriate to continue with the plans for November. The decision was made to postpone the European Championship Men Division B until the situation with the coronavirus is more controlled. IWBF Europe make this decision as we focus on protecting the health of our players and international technical officials (ITOs) in unprecedented times.
The Executive Council wishes to make it understood that the decision to postpone the Competition is not connected in any way to the Local Organising Committee’s arrangements and we are incredibly grateful to the Organising Committee for their work.
This is a very difficult decision and has been made at the last possible moment such was the desire to have some Competition in 2020. No one who is part of the Executive Council likes to cancel events and stop playing the sport we are passionate about. We remain committed to providing international wheelchair basketball competition as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Executive Council will now look at the calendar of competitions and prepare new arrangements for when the Coronavirus pandemic is in a better position. This will be communicated as soon as possible.
For many 2020 has been a challenging year and the Executive Council recognises sport provides the light at the end of the tunnel. We wish good health to all involved in the wheelchair basketball community and hope soon in 2021 we can get back on court.
IWBF Europe Executive Council