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Team Sweden coach Robert Andersson on IBF: ‘I would like to see more respect for the bowlers’

Updated: May 31, 2023

Team Sweden bowling coach Robert Andersson
Robert Andersson | Picture source: Svenska bowlingförbundet

The Sweden national team coach Robert Andersson admits that watching the World Championships from the sideline is going to be a heartbreaker, though he fully supports the association's decision not to participate.

In 2021, the Swedes had one of their most successful World Championships, taking seven medals, including two golds in Dubai. They would be one of the favorites to win again, but Swedish Bowling Association decided to opt out of the World Championships in Kuwait last week.

The concern was motivated by insufficient and uncertain information about the championship format provided by the IBF and little faith in the IBF arrangement abilities, as it had major flaws both before and during the previous World Championships.

'Our players are a mix of professionals and people trying to balance work with the national team and I would like to see more respect for the bowlers in the form of the chance to plan in advance and formats in championships where the performance of the bowlers match the outcome of the competition,' said Robert Andersson, coach of the Sweden national team, in an interview with Erikas Jansonas from 'BowlingLife'.

Despite his supportive stance on the federation's decision, Robert Andersson admits that it is tough for players and coaches to balance between moral decisions and the natural athletic desire to compete.

'Bowlers want to bowl and coaches want to coach. My recommendation for the federation was that we should bowl, but we fully understand that the federation is in the decision. It has been very hard planning the preparations during the past years,' Andersson said. 'I can see thirty reasons why we should not [participate], but the thought of watching the World Championships from the sideline is very sad. On the other hand, it says a lot that Sweden is making this decision, being one of the most successful countries in the past years.'

Asked on how Sweden‘s decision to withdraw from the World Championships could influence other countries, Andersson expressed his fear that it can go two ways.

'That's only my personal reflection, but it could have the opposite effect if some countries now think it is a better chance for medals. I think our decision will only have some effect in Europe'.

The IBF 2023 World Championships will take place at Kuwait Bowling Sporting Club in Salmiya, Kuwait, from October 3 to 18.

Sheikh Talal left his position on May 24th, 2022, after a letter about possible money laundering had been sent by one of the presidents of the European Bowling Federation (EBF), but resumed his position, by making an announcement on October 4th, 2022, that he was resuming his duties and accused Martin Faba (IBF 1st VP acting as Interim President) to the conspiracy to create a new rival entity.

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