SINGAPORE - The qualification event for Asia-Oceania for the Men's Under-19 World Floorball Championship (WFC) will not be held in Singapore from Jan 11 to 16 next year, as the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) announced on Tuesday (Oct 10) its decision to cancel the event owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
Participating countries Australia, New Zealand and Japan had also expressed concerns over travel restrictions and additional costs that would be incurred because of mandatory testing and quarantine requirements.
This means that the national men's U-19 floorball team, who were initially supposed to compete in the tournament, will miss out on a chance to qualify for the April 28-May 2 World Championship in Brno, Czech Republic.
The qualification event was initially scheduled for October 12-17 but was postponed to early next year before it was eventually called off.
As a result, the International Floorball Federation (IFF) announced that the top three teams in Asia-Oceania - Japan (world No. 15), New Zealand (16) and Australia (20) - would gain direct entry into the competition.
Singapore, ranked 31st in the world, is fourth in the region, followed by unranked China.
The pandemic has seen sports competitions in Singapore canned or postponed since March. The exceptions have been football's Singapore Premier League, which restarted on Oct 17 and continues to be held behind closed doors, and mixed martial arts promotion One Championship, which held two events last month - one behind closed doors and the other with 250 spectators.
One's events remain the only sports events that have featured athletes from overseas so far. But there were strict measures in place for both, including frequent testing (four each for overseas-based fighters), while fans attending the Oct 30 fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium were required to take an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on the event day and produce a valid negative ART certificate before they were able to enter the venue.