Next week the WFC Qualifiers will start off. In Europe, all teams have been divided into four groups. Here’s an introduction to Group 1, which will be held in Tallinn, Estonia!
No more than 22 European countries will compete during the next days, but only ten will make it to the World Floorball Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. In order to qualify, one must become first or second in its group. Next to that, the two best-ranked numbers 3 also qualify.
Group 1 consists of world champion Finland, WFCQ organizing country Estonia, Poland, ‘brothers’ Belgium and the Netherlands and Liechtenstein. There might be little doubt whether Finland will make it to the final tournament in December. The team won the WFC 2016 and can use the current qualifier as a tryout for new players. The games against Estonia and Poland might become some more of a test for them, but in the end, it shouldn’t cause any problems.
Estonia and Poland seem to be the two main protagonists in this group, as they’re expected to end up at the second and third spot – but in which order? They meet on Saturday, making it easier for the Estonian fans to help their team reach the WFC. However, there are still three more teams left in this group: Belgium, the Netherlands and Liechtenstein. Might they be up for a surprise? At the start of the tournament, Belgium and the Netherlands meet and the loser of this game will basically be eliminated right away.
Since the number of teams between the qualification groups differs (there are five or six countries per group), the group sizes will be equalized by removing the results from the matches against the lowest placed teams in the larger-sized group before comparing the average results. There’s a possibility the results against Liechtenstein will be ruled out, as they have a high chance of ending up at last place. The team starts off against the best teams and will only meet Belgium and the Netherlands in the last two days.
The match schedule can be found below (local time, UTC +02:00). Live streams will be provided on the IFF YouTube channel 2.
Wednesday 31 January
13.00 Finland – Poland
16.00 Belgium – Netherlands
19.00 Estonia – Liechtenstein
Thursday 1 February
13.00 Poland – Belgium
16.00 Liechtenstein – Finland
19.00 Netherlands – Estonia
Friday 2 February
13.00 Liechtenstein – Poland
16.00 Finland – Netherlands
19.00 Estonia – Belgium
Saturday 3 February
11.00 Netherlands – Liechtenstein
14.00 Belgium – Finland
17.00 Poland – Estonia
Sunday 4 February
09.00 Liechtenstein – Belgium
12.00 Netherlands – Poland
15.00 Estonia – Finland
In Europe, each team will play once against each of the other teams in their group. Based on the results from these group matches, a total of 10 teams will qualify according to the following:
– The two best teams from each qualification group will qualify; and
– The the two best 3rd placed teams will qualify.
The calculation of the best 3rd teams will follow this order: 1. Average number of points 2. Average goal difference 3. Average scored goals 4. Lottery drawing*
*Since the number of teams between the qualification groups differs, the group sizes will be equalised by removing the results from the matches against the lowest placed teams in the larger-sized group before comparing the average results.