First six qualifying teams announced for Birmingham 2022
THE first six qualifying nations have been announced for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with the host nation England earning automatic qualification alongside the remainder of the top six nations in Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi. Six more nations are yet to be decided, with World Netball (formerly International Netball Federation) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) agreed to extend netball’s qualification date to January 31, 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19 on the international netball calendar.
World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE congratulated the top six nations on their qualification, explaining that the event is a terrific opportunity for all 12 competing teams.
“Congratulations to the top six teams in the WN World Rankings on securing their place at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games,” Nicholl said.
“World Netball will continue to work closely with the CGF and the CGA’s on the announcement of the remaining six teams.
“I look forward to seeing all 12 teams compete on this world stage in Birmingham next year and watching the athletes embrace this opportunity to compete at this important multi-sport event.”
CGF President, Dame Louise Martin said that if the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was anything to go by, fans will be treated to another excellent netball event in Birmingham.
“We are already shaping up for an exciting competition,” Martin explained. “Netball was one of the highlights of Gold Coast 2018.
“That unforgettable final between Australia and England will always be remembered as one of the iconic moments in Commonwealth Games history.
“There is no doubt that we can expect more excitement and entertainment at Birmingham 2022, in front of passionate fans.”
At present, Uganda, Scotland, Wales, Trinidad and Tobago, Northern Ireland and Barbados are set to be the additional nations pending further tests leading into 2022. The Cook Islands, Zambia and Samoa are next in line, with the Cook Islands rating just two points behind Barbados. Both Zambia and Samoa currently sit on a rating of 72 in at 15th and 16th on the rankings, posing plenty of questions around the bottom teams that are hoping to qualify.
Picture credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images