Champions Cup 2021 – Europesara.smareglia
IWBF Europe plans return to international wheelchair basketball in Europe
The Coronavirus pandemic put a stop to international wheelchair basketball competitions in the whole world. In Europe, among others, all the events linked to the EuroCup and the European Championships had to be canceled for more than a year. Now, with all the necessary precautions and safety restrictions, IWBF Europe wants to slowly get back on court like other top-level sports that have returned.
In January, it was decided to cancel completely the EuroCup 2021, the highest club competition in Europe, because of uncertainty around the pandemic. It was hoped that there would be an opportunity to organize special events for clubs in spring. After long considerations by the IWBF Europe Competition Commission and Executive Council, it was decided to try to organize a tournament among some of the highest ranking clubs in Europe. The tournament has been named “Champions Cup”.
Although the Champions Cup is based on the ranking ofthe EuroCup to select the best teams in Europe, it must be differentiated from the Champions League Final Four as it will not substitute it. For this reason, no ranking points will be awarded to the participating teams.
IWBF Europe, together with RSV Lahn-Dill, are planning the Champions Cup among eight of the best teams in Europe. The event is planned to take place in Wetzlar, Germany, at the Rittal Arena from April 30th to May 2nd. The structure of the tournament is based on direct elimination: 4 games on Friday, followed by semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sunday.
Given the current situation, no spectators will be allowed to the games, however, live streaming will be organized to give people the possibility to be part of it and watch the games.
Special measures have been prepared to ensure the Champions Cup can proceed with safety and the health of everyone participating in mind. Regular testing for coronavirus is mandatory for everyone involved and the participants will form a ‘bubble’ with no contact outside the hotel and arena. IWBF Europe wishes to thank Lahn-Dill and the participating clubs for agreeing to play with these arrangements in place and to take the financial risks involved.
Stay tuned for more information on how to follow the Champions Cup 2021!