IWBF Europe have announced the postponement of the Men’s U23 European Championship.

The championship, which will act as the zone qualifying tournament for the Men’s U23 World Championship, was due to take place in January 2021, however in agreement with the hosts the Italian Wheelchair Basketball Federation (FIPIC), IWBF Europe have postponed the event and will look to rearrange to a later date during 2021.

IWBF Europe President, Walter Pfaller, said:

“IWBF Europe Executive Council has continued to watch closely the situation of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) over the past months.

“In many parts of Europe, we begin to see positive signs and we are pleased to see some nations are cautiously returning to play wheelchair basketball when the time is right for them. It is still an uncertain situation and, in many places, still we experience restrictions on travel, sport and gatherings.

“IWBF Europe focus remains to protect the health and wellbeing of athletes and International Technical Official. The Executive Council of IWBF Europe in discussion with the Italian Federation has carefully considered how this impacts the plans for the European Championship Under 23 Men which was planned for January 2021.

“With an unpredictable situation still in Italy, where many Government restrictions on travel and playing sport are still in place, and with further uncertainty about the impact of Coronavirus in the winter months – the Executive Council has agreed to postpone the European Championships Under 23 Men.

“This is a difficult decision and we remain committed to providing international competition for young wheelchair basketball players. Any decision to postpone a competition is not easy but at this stage we make it to protect the health of our athletes and technical officials in unprecedented times.

“We look forward to announcing a new date for later in 2021 when the rearranged European Championships Under 23 Men can hopefully take place.”