No Russian athletes in international korfball events

Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces, on Friday the IKF condemned the attack and pledged support to the people of Ukraine, and in particular the korfball community in Ukraine.

Today, the Executive Committee of the International Korfball Federation, following the Recommendation issued by the International Olympic Committee, and in line with the decision announced today by the International World Games Association, has decided that the Russian Korfball Federation will not be invited until further notice to any international korfball competition. For any of this year’s events, the Russian Korfball Federation had not yet entered due to severe economic hardship of the Federation. This implies effectively that no Russian athletes shall take part in any international korfball event until further notice. Belarus is currently not a member country in the IKF, so Belarusian athletes are also not able to take part. Furthermore, the Russian Korfball Federation shall not be eligible to bid for the hosting of any IKF event until further notice. Currently, no IKF events have been planned in Russia.

The IKF continues to closely monitor the situation and is in close contact with the Ukrainian Korfball Federation, who has announced its intent to take part in the European Qualifiers for next year’s World Korfball Championship in Taipei. The European Qualifiers are held in October in the Czech Republic and in Turkey. The IKF will do whatever is in its power to enable a Ukrainian team to take part in this Qualifier, and to support the Ukrainian Korfball Federation.

Further, the IKF Executive Committee expresses explicit support to Russian athletes that are affected by the decisions of their government, especially those that have spoken up. Not being allowed to compete is the worst nightmare for any athlete, at any age. The IKF sincerely hopes that the war in Ukraine will evolve such that eventually no korfball athletes will need to be banned from events due to acts of war.

The IKF endorses activities by the national korfball federations of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland to support Ukrainian refugees.

IKF sends message of support to Ukranian Korfball Community

The global korfball community is shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the International Korfball Federation strongly condemns this breaking of the Olympic Truce. IKF President Jan Fransoo sent a message of empathy to Oleg Byllik, President of the Ukranian Korfball Federation, to enquire about the status of the korfball community in Ukraine, which has been growing rapidly over the past few years.

While the korfball community is strongest in the Western Region of Ukraine around the city of Lviv, only recently an extensive expansion project has started with activities in Ukraine’s Central Region which includes the capital of Kyiv. We hope that everyone in Ukraine’s korfball community is safe in these horrific events.