EuroCup 2021: Preliminary Rounds Canceledsara.smareglia
Now the focus on the finals weekend
Statement from IWBF Europe Competitions Commission
03 October 2020
IWBF Europe Executive Council and the Competitions Commission has continued to pay close attention to the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is having across Europe and the world.
The Commission is happy to see that some national leagues are carefully returning to the court and we wish everyone who can take part a safe and competitive season. We are also very aware that many parts of Europe are starting to see cases of the virus rising again and it is still a very uncertain situation for most of us.
IWBF Europe’s focus remains to protect the health and wellbeing of athletes, International Technical Officials (ITO), event staff and our volunteers. It is well known that certain groups of people are more severely affected by coronavirus if they become infected, and lots of people in our sport have found themselves in the higher risk categories.
The Coronavirus situation is unpredictable and no one can be certain that more Government restrictions on travel and playing sport will not be made in the next months, and with further uncertainty about the new impact of Coronavirus in winter, the Commission had to consider whether playing a normal EuroCup 2021 is possible.
Many Local Organising Committee’s need to start their work soon and will begin to find or spend money to make the necessary reservations. Participating Clubs and ITOs will also need to make travel arrangements and plan their movement across Europe for Preliminary Rounds – difficult in the situation of changing border restrictions.
With the regularly changing situation and recognising that a late cancellation of EuroCup 2020 created financial problems for many Clubs, a difficult decision has had to be made now to prevent the spending of money that may not be recovered if teams cannot travel or events have to be cancelled at short notice.
With the support of the President IWBF Europe, the Competitions Commission decided at its meeting on 19th September that, in these special circumstances it is sadly necessary to cancel the preliminary rounds of EuroCup 2021.
We here give notification that the following events are cancelled:
- Preliminary Round Champions League due 4th – 7th February 2021
- Preliminary Rounds of EuroLeague 1,2 and 3 due 11th – 14th March 2021
- Quarter Finals Champions League due also 11th -14th March 2021
However, with the hope that the situation improves we now turn our focus on the remaining EuroCup weekend of 22nd – 25th April 2021 when normally our Finals would be taking place.
We plan to hold a one-round competition on this weekend and will be working with Clubs that made a bid to host to see if it is possible to find places to play several events across Europe that will give Clubs from different countries the opportunity to compete. The events may be a ‘final-8’ format or a smaller arrangement for less teams where 2 courts are not available.
With this plan the details will depend on the number of Clubs wishing to take part and the number of LOCs willing to host rounds on this weekend. However, because this is not a normal EuroCup arrangement the Commission has decided that no ranking points for EuroCup 2021 will be available.
We now ask Clubs that have entered EuroCup 2021 to confirm if they wish to be included in the plan for 22nd – 25th April 2021.
Any Club that wishes to withdraw from EuroCup 2021 can decide to do this before 1st December 2020 without penalty.
Any decision to cancel a competition is not easy but at this stage we make it to protect the health of our athletes and international technical officials in unprecedented times.
We remain committed to providing a form of EuroCup 2021 if it is possible in April but recognise that there may also be difficulties should the situation of Coronavirus still be with us. In the meantime we would like to thank you for your understanding and continued support for EuroCup.
Chair of the Competitions Commission