The IWRF have confirmed the eight Tokyo 2020 qualifiers will retain their places ©Getty Images

The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) has confirmed all eight qualified teams for Tokyo 2020 will compete at the postponed Paralympic Games next year.

The Paralympic Games are now scheduled to take place from August 24 to September 5 2021.

The new dates were revealed nearly a week after Tokyo 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus has now infected more than 986,000 people and killed more than 50,000 worldwide.

The rescheduled Games have led to questions over qualification for the Paralympics.

The IWRF have confirmed the eight qualified teams will retain their places.

“In relation to qualification for next year's Paralympic Games, the IWRF are in a relatively positive position and can comply with the IPC recommendation in respect of teams that have already qualified for Tokyo 2020," said IWRF President Richard Allcroft.

“At this point, the eight qualification slots have already been obtained and I can therefore confirm that the eight nations qualified to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, originally taking place in August 2020, will maintain their allocations and remain qualified for the Paralympic Games which are now scheduled to begin on August 24 2021."

Canada qualified for the Paralympic Games last month ©Wheelchair Rugby Canada
Canada qualified for the Paralympic Games last month ©Wheelchair Rugby Canada

Hosts Japan will participate in the Paralympic Games tournament next year, along with world champions Australia, Denmark, Britain, United States and New Zealand.

Canada and France advanced from the Paralympic qualification tournament, which took place last month in Richmond.

The event was one of the final sporting competitions held before countries began introducing stricter measures including travel restrictions and lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The IWRF said it will seek to provide as much clarity as possible over the postponed Paralympics, including on the competition schedule and classification of athletes.

IWRF President Richard Allcroft said decisions will be communicated to stakeholders.

“I have consulted with the Board and the CEO who said ‘As of today, the IWRF continues to prohibit all travel for staff, officials and volunteers that relates to the business of the IWRF,” Allcroft wrote.

“This will continue to be reviewed.

“We encourage all nations and individuals to follow their national Government and health agency guidance.

“The welfare of our athletes and the wider ‘rugby family’ is central to our decision making.

“We will continue to consult with our stakeholders, in particular the International Paralympic Committee, as we work through the various challenges.”