#RoadtoSweden: Meet the WFCQ 2024 AOFC Contenders

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The 2024 Men’s World Floorball Championship (WFC) Asia-Oceania Floorball Qualifiers (AOFQ) officially opened on Tuesday, May 21. All ready to break records and fight for a spot at the 15th Men’s World Floorball Championships in Sweden on December 7-15, let’s get to know the competing teams at the WFCQ 2024 AOFQ.

[GROUP F]

Australia

Clinching 13th place in WFC 2022 and 11th place in WFC 2020, the Australian Men’s Floorball Team is once again eager to reach a higher ground in the upcoming qualifiers. Despite the withdrawal of player Oscar Smith, the team remains grounded and strong with the newest addition to the team, James Watson. At present, the Aussie squad is ranked 13th in the overall IFF rankings.

Singapore

Singapore was the first Asian nation to compete in the 1996 World Floorball Championships held in Sweden. With the support of the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA), the Singapore Men’s National Floorball Team proved to the world that they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to Floorball. Some notable achievements of the Singapore team include winning the 2019 Asia-Oceania Floorball Cup (AOFC), securing the runner-up position in the 2017 AOFC, and becoming the champions of the 2015 Southeast Asian Floorball Championships. They are currently ranked 16th in the IFF standings.

Japan

Landing 5th at the AOFC 2019, the Japanese National Floorball Team is ready to carve out a place for themselves in this qualifier. In WFC 2022, the national team stood in 29th place, following their 15th place finish in WFC 2020. This year, they are more than determined to do whatever it takes to secure a ticket to the WFC 2024 in Sweden. 

China

The China Men’s National Floorball Team made their international debut at the 2017 Asia-Oceania Floorball Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. Despite being outplayed in all their group stage matches, China secured their first international victory in the classification semifinals by defeating the Philippines 3-2 in overtime. Their most recent appearance in the WFC was in 2018, where they landed the 33rd spot. Team China is eager to elevate their performance on the international stage, making them a team to watch out for.

[GROUP G]

Philippines

Currently 15th in the IFF World rankings, the Philippines Men’s National Floorball Team stands tall and proud— all set to prove their greatness on their homecourt. Governed by the Philippine Floorball Association (PFA), they made their debut at the 2014 Southeast Asian Floorball Championships in Singapore while getting their first  international victory, a 4–3 win over China in July 2017. The best finish for Team Philippines so far is when they clinched the silver medal at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. Now more than ever, they are determined to grab a spot in this year’s WFC and show the world that Filipinos can be exceptional in Floorball.

New Zealand

Committed to achieving greater heights, New Zealand will showcase their full effort in the upcoming qualifiers, eager to secure victory and advance to the next stage of the tournament. They currently hold the 22nd spot in the global rankings, with past placements in the WFC being 20th (2022) and 26th (2020) respectively. With their unwavering dedication and continuous improvement, they aim to ascend their rankings and make their mark on the international floorball stage.

Thailand

Currently in the 14th spot in the IFF World Rankings, the Thailand Men’s National Floorball Team is continuously establishing its force in the sport. They won the historic and first ever AOFC of 2017 held in their homeland by defeating Singapore in the championship match, while their best WFC finish is their 13th finish in 2020. The team is organized by Floorball Thailand which has the support of the Thailand Hockey Association.

South Korea

With a track record of consistency, the South Korean National Floorball Team highlights their performance in the AOFC, achieving a 4th place finish in the AFC 2019 and a 3rd place finish in the AOFC 2017. While not traditionally known as a powerhouse in the sport, South Korea has been making efforts to establish itself on the floorball court. Their progress in international competitions and their commitment to the sport reflect their ambition to become a formidable force in the world of floorball.

Only the top three teams will advance to the WFC 2024. Semi-finals are happening on May 24 (Friday) and Finals on May 25 (Saturday) at the PhilSports Arena, Pasig City. Tickets are available online via http://www.floorball.ph/wfcq2024tickets, and via walk-in purchase at the venue. 

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Text and Research by Ken Russell M. Peñaflor and Anna Lourdes R. Cruz
Photos by Gabriel Suarez via IFF Flicker here.

Sources:

https://floorball.sport/
https://app.floorball.sport/#/magazine
http://floorballphilippines.weebly.com/news/philippines-debuts-in-international-floorball-in-december
https://web.archive.org/web/20140929192557/http://sfa.sg/about/
https://www.straitstimes.com/sport/floorball-singapore-thrash-thailand-17-1-to-win-mens-asia-oceania-floorball-confederation-cup
https://www.floorballaustralia.org.au/
https://tiebreakertimes.com.ph/tbt/sea-games-ph-floorball-suffers-heartbreak-at-hands-of-thailand-in-gold-medal-match/272604