The International Korfball Federation has been informed by the Royal Belgian Korfball Federation KBKB that they will not send a team to next year’s U23 World Korfball Championship in Olomouc, Czech Republic. In a public statement, the KBKB cites a lack of financial resources to send a team at the required level of support and professionalism to the Championship. At the IKF General Meeting in Antwerp last month, the KBKB had already publicly announced that they will not be taking part in all international events in the future.
The IKF Executive Committee will further discuss the matter in its upcoming Exco Meeting, and has hence not yet taken an official position. IKF President Fransoo, who was personally informed by KBKB President Ruts ahead of the public announcement, regrets the decision that the KBKB has taken: “It is especially a severe decision for the Belgian U23 athletes that were so successful last year the European Championship by winning the gold medal. It is sad that the strongest team from the European qualifier will not take part in this U23 WKC. While I appreciate the short-term financial constraints, I do hope that the KBKB is able to increase its level of ambition in attracting financial resources to again take part in all Championships. Athletes at all ages should be given the opportunity to compete with their peers from other countries.”
In advance of the KBKB announcement, the IKF has already contacted the reserve countries to replace the Belgian team. The IKF Executive Committee will also reconsider the draw.