South Africa, and specifically Johannesburg has been named the host of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Under 23 African World Championship qualifiers by the IWBF on Friday. The tournament will take place in the South African city in early December from the 5th to the 12th.
Four teams will compete for a place in the Under 23 World Championship with Zimbabwe, Algeria and Nigeria joining South Africa in the tournament. This tournament will be run by Wheelchair Basketball South Africa Federation with IWBF Africa.
Originally the tournament was to be played further south in the country, with Durban the original host for the event. Durban is hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games and playing it there was intended to serve as a test event for those Commonwealth Games but plans in Durban fell through forcing the event to be moved to Johannesburg.
The two favorites for the tournament are expected to be Algeria and South Africa as the two most established teams in the continent. Hosting the tournament could well give South Africa the edge in a tight tournament although Algeria has a strong squad that could challenge.
In Zimbabwe and Nigeria there are two strong developing sides in to the tournament as the two teams look to continue their development. While those two teams may well be lower ranked they could well spring an upset with the format of the tournament.
The tournament will see the winner head to the World Championship, and also provides an opportunity for Africa’s next referees to train. The referees will arrive for two days of training before the tournament with the best referees identified potentially going to the world championship.