Canadian Participation in Men's PAN AM Championships in Doubt

According to the Canadian Handball Federation Website:

“Senior men Pan American Championship is likely to be celebrated in Brazil, April 10th to April 16th, 2006. As the PATHF executive adopted a competitive structure and ranked Canada 9th in the PATHF (first eight countries are competing), we are yet to know if Canada will compete or not. In this matter, they are having an extraordinary meeting in Feb. 15 – 19 in Argentina to deal with this unfair matter.“

Canada placed 3rd at the last Pan Am Handball Championships in 2004, but apparently either did not participate or placed poorly at the 2002 Championships and at the 2003 Pan Am Games, resulting in a 9th place aggregate placement. Brazil and Argentina are overwhelming favourites to place 1st and 2nd, but Canada would certainly also be considered the odds on favourite for the 3rd place and qualification for the 2007 World Championships. Using a formula which puts equal weight on the results from 2002 to decide who participates is quite simply absurd. The tournament should either have preliminary qualification games or be structured to allow all interested Pan Am nations to participate.

The US is currently ranked 3rd, and so has qualified for the tournament. It will be interesting to see, however, if the US does in fact field a team for this tournament which is now only 2.5 months away.