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The European WDSF Sport Series Games Qualifying events for Standard and Latin took place in Spain in December 2021 and January 2022 with 16 Standard and 16 Latin couples from Europe qualifying for Birmingham 2022. Twenty-three couples in total will compete at The World Games in Latin and Standard discipline, which are scheduled to take place from 7-17 July in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
The Qualifying process was based on standard IWGA regulation by which every athlete (of the couple) had to be in a possession of a valid passport of the country which they represent.
On 18 of February 2022, after the European WDSF Sport Series Games Qualifying events took place, IWGA informed WDSF on their decision that mixed-nationality couples will be allowed to compete in Birmingham but may only do so under the flag of a single country.
This IWGA decision was soon followed by another IWGA decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from participating at The World Games in Birmingham 2022.
The IWGA decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials follows a communique by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the breach of the Olympic Truce and its requested actions.
The IOC strongly condemned the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government through its invasion of the Ukraine, and the government of Belarus through its support of the invasion. As a result, the IOC Executive Board recommended that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.
Due to this ban, 13 Russian and/or Belarusian Standard and Latin couples will be prohibited from competing at The World Games.
In accordance with this, World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) has decided to reallocate the newly vacant spots for couples at The World Games 2022 to the next best-ranked non-Russian or non-Belarusian couples, and formed a new list of qualified couples for ST/LA.
If NMBs want to apply the new IWGA regulation from 18 of February 2022 on mixed-nationality couples, they will have the opportunity to change their representatives of which the new list consists.
The World Games are a multi-sport event staged every four years by the IWGA and organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. Birmingham 2022 will be the 11th edition of The World Games, which will see some 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 34 sports.
The WDSF has been an IWGA Member Federation since 1995, with dancers first competing at The World Games 1997 in Lahti, Finland.