Finland will not participate in the upcoming International Bowling Federation (IBF) 2023 World Championships in Kuwait, the Finnish Bowling Federation announced.
The Board of the Finnish Bowling Federation held an extraordinary meeting today to discuss Finland's participation in the Men's and Women's World Bowling Championships, scheduled to take place in Kuwait from 3rd to 15th October 2023.
After deliberation, the Board made the decision to withdraw Finland from the upcoming championships, citing the lack of concrete and reliable information from the International Bowling Federation (IBF).
The decision stems from concerns regarding the expected lack of participating countries and after a series of confounding events on IBF, that have left participating nations perplexed.
Initially, during the Board meeting on 22nd June, it was decided that Finland would send both men's and women's teams to Kuwait. In accordance with this decision, teams for the World Championships were also selected. However, shortly after this meeting, the IBF unexpectedly extended the registration deadline by an additional month, creating further uncertainty.
Adding to the complexity, the IBF refrained from publicly disclosing the list of participating countries. Just before the deadline, the Finnish Bowling Federation received an estimate from the IBF regarding the number of participating countries by continent, but the names of the countries were not disclosed. The estimate indicated that only 18 countries would be participating in the men's event and 14 countries in the women's event, with a paltry number of four countries from Europe in the men's competition and a mere three from Europe in the women's event.
With this influx of uncertain information and a lack of transparency from the IBF, the Board of the Finnish Bowling Federation arrived at the difficult conclusion that participating in the World Championships would not be in the best interest of the Finnish teams. The confusion surrounding the event was deemed too great a risk, and Finland's withdrawal was seen as the most sensible course of action.
In a related decision, the Board also announced the cancellation of Finland's participation in the IBF Seniors World Championships, which was scheduled to be held in Colombia in December.
In May, Swedish Bowling Association already decided to opt out of the World Championships, while Norway made the same decistion in June. The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) has formally announced in June, that Team USA also intends to abstain from participating in the upcoming International Bowling Federation (IBF) 2023 World Championships in Kuwait.