The IKF Asia Executive Committee has decided today to postpone the 4th IKF Asia U16&U19 Korfball4 Championship, which was due to be held in Udon Thani (Thailand) from 29 March until 4 April 2020.
In the past weeks, the IKF Executive Committee, the IKF Competitions Committee, the IKF Asia Executive Committee and the IKF Asia Competitions Working Group, in close collaboration with the Korfball Association of Thailand (KAT), have monitored the developments in relation to the outbreak of the Coronavirus 2019-nCoV in China and the subsequent developments in Asia and the rest of the world.
While Thailand currently still faces a very limited number of identified infection cases, the situation has had a major impact on public life in the host country of the Championship. Moreover, many flights in the region have been canceled, making travel more difficult.
Given this situation, the IKF Asia Executive Committee yesterday has decided to postpone this championship until further notice. This decision has been made in close coordination with the KAT and the IKF. It is currently too early to announce new dates. We will remain in close contact with the KAT to review the situation.
We realize many U19/U16 national teams have spent considerable time and effort preparing for the event to be taking place later this month, but at this stage this is the only possible decision to take, in the benefit of the players, both in terms of potential health risks, and in terms of the overall championship experience.
Further events in Asia later this year: IKF U21 World Korfball Championship in Chinese Taipei
The IKF are aware of the international concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus, largely impacting China but also being detected elsewhere. It is important to note that, unlike Thailand, Taiwan is an island that is physically separated from the China mainland and the local authorities in Taiwan have imposed a ban on anyone entering who has resided or visited mainland China in the 14 days before arriving in Taiwan. For those that are allowed to enter, they have imposed strict health check requirements at all international airports for passengers from mainland China and ask all other foreign visitors to undertake a health check for heightened temperatures and symptoms associated with the virus. None of public authorities of the U21 IKF WKC countries have imposed travel bans to the island of Taiwan due to this outbreak and officially a limited number of cases have been detected on the island of Taiwan.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and will keep the communication lines open, but at this stage we expect that all precautions are being taken and that the U21 IKF WKC will proceed as planned. We encourage all countries to take out travel insurance as should occur for travel to any international event. Furthermore, we strongly advise you to book flights to Taipei that do not connect in mainland China or Hong Kong, but travel on a direct flight from your home country or from Europe. We expect to provide further updates by the end of March.