IKF have created a new European club competition ©IKF

The International Korfball Federation (IKF) has announced the creation of an experimental European club competition in response to the cancellation of the IKF Europa Cup and Europa Shield competitions for 2021.

The IKF Executive Committee has formed the club competition for 2021 called the European Korfball Tour with its primary aim of the experiment to create a structure in which teams from all European member nations have the opportunity to play competitively.

The 2020 competition calendar has been largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the suspension of international sport due to social and travel restrictions.

It has also been created to make a more professional and commercially attractive final round in which the best European teams will meet each other.

The European Korfball Tour will consist of three events - two pre-rounds of "the challengers" and one final round called "the finals".

Korfball is a mixed gender sport comprising four male and four female players ©IKF
Korfball is a mixed gender sport comprising four male and four female players ©IKF

A total of 22 teams will participate in the European Korfball Tour with The Netherlands and Belgium both having two clubs qualifying directly to the Finals.

Germany and Portugal will see their champions qualify for the Finals directly, while a second team will participate from each country in the challengers.

Catalonia, Czech Republic and England will all have two club teams in the challengers.

Hungary, Poland, Turkey, France, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia and Wales will all have one team in the challengers too.

If a nation cannot provide a team, a nation based off the IKF rankings will be next in line to provide one.

The challengers will be held from January 7 to 9 and January 14 to 16, while the Finals will be played in The Netherlands from February 11 to 13.

The deadline for teams to apply is August 1.