President’s Mesage on the Men’s Final Qualifier and Sitting Volleyball World Cup

Men’s Final Qualifier – Edmond USA – cancelled

On behalf of the World ParaVolley Board, I wish to express our sincere regret that we were required to cancel the Men’s Final Qualifier in the USA that would have provided the winning team a position in Tokyo 2020. This was a difficult decision that was required within a tight timeframe after the USA imposed a ban on European flights after March 13 – thus endangering the return travel by four European teams.

I would like to thank USAV who were well advanced with their preparations at the time and “took a hit” with the cancellation of the event and the seven teams that entered: CAN, CRO, GER, KAZ, LAT, UKR and USA. There were no winners in this situation – everybody suffered.

Sitting Volleyball World Cup – postponed

After transferring this event from China to Egypt, it was unfortunate that the coronavirus became the dominating issue and the World Cup was postponed indefinitely. Quite a number of teams had entered the event and we are hopeful that we can deliver the event for the athletes at another time to be decided. We deeply regret the fact that postponement will mean that certain athletes may not be able to participate in Tokyo 2020 now. However, we are working with the IPC to address this issue.

It has been a tough time and now our 2020 Calendar is very sparse – in sitting volleyball, only the ParaVolley Europe “B” Championships (to be confirmed) and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Aug/Sep 2020.

However, given the worldwide cancellations of huge international and national sporting events, I have no hesitation in saying that we put the interests of the athletes and ITOs health and travel needs first – in line with WHO and international expectations – and that we did that in a timely manner. Responses to our decisions have been positive and I have no regret that we made those decisions. I am sorry that there have been inevitable negative outcomes for some but this was unavoidable in the circumstances.

Barry Couzner OAM
President, World ParaVolley