Singapore to host women's World Floorball Championship in 2023
The 2023 event will be the second time the Republic is staging it, after 2005
The women's World Floorball Championship (WFC) will return to Singapore in 2023, the sport's international governing body announced yesterday.
The Republic had also hosted the 2005 edition, the only other time the biennial tournament was held outside Europe. That year, Singapore finished 11th out 17 teams.
SFA president Kenneth Ho believes the successful bid is "great news to the local floorball community" and that the home support could even spur the national team to "surprise a lot of countries" in two years' time.
The women's national team have performed admirably, finishing 12th out of 16 teams at the 2019 WFC - their highest since the tournament switched to a one-division format in 2011 - and that came on the back of them retaining the SEA Games gold.
"The achievements from 2019 have brought a great belief to our team that they have the skills and capability to compete with the very best teams, (although) maybe not the top four," Ho told The New Paper yesterday.
"Hopefully, with a strong support from our local fans from the stands (if the Covid-19 situation allows), it might push our team to reach even greater heights."
While agreeing with Ho, national women's coach Lim Jin Quan also hopes this will give players a greater sense of anticipation, with most events cancelled or postponed amid the pandemic.
National player Siti Nurhaliza Khairul Anuar, who turned out for Czech top-flight side SC Tempish Vitkovice from 2019-20, said many among the floorball community will be looking forward to seeing world-class players in Singapore.
"Hosting a major competition definitely makes me feel pumped up for it," she added.
TNP understands the tournament will be at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the OCBC Arena at the end of November or early December in 2023.
Home advantage did seem to give Singapore an edge in 2005, with the hosts advancing to the B Division semi-finals, after staying unbeaten in the group stage (won two, drew two).
However, they come unstuck in the play-off against the United States before finishing 11th with a win over Germany.
While world No. 14 Singapore will qualify automatically for the 2023 edition as hosts, Lim's charges will be aiming to give a good account of themselves by earning their spot at this year's WFC in Uppsala, Sweden.
Qualification takes place in Hachioji, Japan, at the end of June.
The SFA also put in a bid to host the 2024 men's WFC, but Sweden, the only other candidate, were named as hosts for the fourth time since the inaugural edition in 1996.