Lahti, Finland, to host IBSA Goalball Euros B
Date: August 14, 2020
The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball has announced that its European Championships B will be held in Pajulahti, Finland, from 27-31 Janaury.
The competition replaces the 2020 Euros B which were due to take place in Afula, Israel, in October, but were cancelled due to COVID-19.
All games will take place at the state-of-the-art Pajulahti Olympic & Paralympic Training Centre.
Kari Rasanen, Chair of the IBSA Goalball Committee, said: “Finland have hosted many successful IBSA Goalball Championships before so I have no doubt that the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Centre and the National Paralympic Committee will do a great job once again.
“I would like to thank them, and the other bid cities, for putting themselves forward to organise the Euros B at short notice and give teams the chance of promotion to group A. Goalball has an exciting time ahead as we fill the calendar for the next two years.”
Riikka Juntunen, Secretary General of the Finnish Paralympic Committee, said: “The Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Centre will provide great facilities for the competitors. The Finnish Paralympic Committee and the city of Pajulahti will welcome all teams, referees and classifiers to Finland – we will do our best for you.
“As a former goalball coach I think that the most important thing for international tournaments is that the players have the right conditions to concentrate fully on doing their best on court. That means that accommodation, food and transport all need to be in shape. There should not be any extra stress for coaches or players. We promise to keep that in our minds!”
Held every two years, the Euros B sees teams go for promotion to group A where they have a chance to qualify for the World Championships and ultimately the Paralympic Games.
In this case this means that they could compete at the next scheduled European Championships A, also in 2021, and qualify for the Worlds in Hangzhou, China, in 2022.
Ten men’s and eight women’s teams are expected to compete in Lahti, including hosts Finland in the women’s.
The location of the 2021 IBSA Goalball European Championships A will be announced shortly. That will join other highlights of the calendar such as the youth Worlds and Americas Championships, both taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil next year.