Sebastian Garvens hopes qualification events can be held for Birmingham 2022 ©IWGA

Sebastian Garvens, International World Games Association (IWGA) head of Games services, remains hopeful qualification events for Birmingham 2022 can be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with the IWGA, Garvens acknowledged the qualification process for Birmingham 2022 had been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

Garvens said the organisation was working with International Federations (IFs) to support the qualification process and vowed to be flexible when finding solutions.

"COVID-19 has affected the qualification process across all sports and disciplines very much," Garvens admitted.

"As yet, nobody knows how viable it is to organise competitions, and therefore we’re in constant contact with the IFs, most of which have been planning on multiple scenarios.

"Qualifications may date back to 2019 or even before, considering that for some sports, no major competitions have taken place since then.

"We do discuss the process with the IFs if necessary, but of course the federations are the experts in identifying a suitable, fair solution for the athletes.

"We have also planned a deadline for when participants need to be determined, but of course we will need to be as flexible as our participating sports in adjusting to the developing situation, considering the global dimension of this pandemic and the costs that need to be borne.

"As in the past, we will not impose any major decisions on the IFs, but try to find the best overall solutions in joint collaboration."

Birmingham 2022 organisers hope World Games qualification will be completed by March next year ©Birmingham 2022
Birmingham 2022 organisers hope World Games qualification will be completed by March next year ©Birmingham 2022

Garvens said a small number of sports have already determined their participants at the Games, but hopes the remainder of the qualification process will have been completed by the end of March in 2022.

This would also include the reallocation of quota places and nominations.

The World Games had initially been scheduled to take place in 2021.

The multi-sport event was moved to 2022 to accommodate the rescheduling of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It is now set to take place from July 7 to 17 next year in the city in Alabama.