Event cancellation – WFDF 2021 World Ultimate and Guts Championships
Official communication by the WFDF
The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) announced that, after taking into consideration all of the data available to us, in addition to input provided by the TOC on the current situation in the Netherlands, our review of WHO international guidelines, the status of the distribution of a vaccine, and the advice of our medical team, WFDF has concluded that it will not move forward with the intent to hold WUGC 2021. In addition, all WFDF World Championship events currently scheduled for 2021 are being canceled or postponed.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the feasibility of hosting WUGC in July are ongoing and significant. WFDF COVID-19 Working Group has constantly monitored the health and safety recommendations of international authorities (including the World Health Organisation), and concerns about how the event could proceed safely and legally at this point given the current rules and regulations of the relevant governmental authorities were not resolved. Our concerns, many of which we know are shared by most teams and member NF’s include, without limitation:
1. The Pandemic has been spiking in its second wave, most countries are under lockdown restrictions, and cross border travel is sharply limited.
2. The Netherlands is currently in a strict lockdown with all schools, bars, restaurants, and non-essential shops closed, with a restriction on the number of people allowed to gather. Events are also banned at this time. This lockdown is in place until at least the 9th of February, per the announcement by the Dutch government on the 12th of January. There remains no certainty when these restrictions will be lifted or if they will continue to be extended.
3. The Netherlands has cross border restrictions for most countries with a “strong advice to not travel to the Netherlands unless strictly necessary.” All inbound travel to the Netherlands requires a mandatory 10 day self-quarantine for anyone entering the country.
4. Public transport is limited to essential travel only and is operating at half capacity to allow for social distancing.
5. Hotels and restaurants are not allowed to serve food or beverage at this time.
Because the parties (WFDF, TOC and Teams) have no certainty that cross border travel will be allowed, if it would be safe to hold the event, if the pandemic situation will be under control, or that the local government will allow an event to occur in just six months time, WFDF could only take into account the facts as they were presented at this time. During information sharing between us (teams and WFDF) over the past months, it was evident that each country and even teams within the same country had unique and vastly different points of view as to the possibility of attending the event. Decisions have not been taken lightly, and have not been easy, however we can assure you that WFDF has acted in the best interest of the teams and players at each step of the decision making process. The health and safety of all players, team support, volunteers, staff and officials has remained our main priority.
We recognise that this cancellation will be met by some with disappointment, for some relief. A lot has transpired in the past 12 months and may continue to do so. This time last year, teams were actively training and preparing hard for the event, the TOC was active in planning and working towards hosting you all in Leeuwarden, schedules and rosters were being pulled together. Like you, we feel and share the disappointment and thank you all for the hard work you put in to represent your country at WUGC.