The organizers of the fourth FIFG FootGolf World Cup announce the planned schedule and spots for the biggest event of 2020.
FIFG FOOTGOLF WORLD CUP JAPAN 2020
Organizers: Federation for International FootGolf（FIFG), Japan FootGolf Association（JFGA)
Course: Seven Hundred Club
Support: Tochigi Prefecture, Sakura City, Utsunomiya City
Partner: Sakura City Golf Promotion committee
Media partner: TV Aichi
5 individual and 3 team competition days
- September 25th (Fri): Practice
- 26th (Sat): Practice & Welcome Party
- 27th (Sun): 1st day Individual
- 28th (Mon): 2nd day Individual
- 29th (Tue): 3rd day Individual
- 30th (Wed): Final day Individual
- October 1st (Thu): 1st day Team Competition (Best 16)
- 2nd (Fri): 2nd day Team Competition (Quarter-finals)
- 3rd（Sat): Semi-final Team Competition
- 4th（Sun): Final Day Team Competition and Awarding Ceremony
- 5th（Mon): Spare day
(In case of postponing during the individual competition, the team competition starts on 2nd October with the best 16 and the quarter-finals, while the 5th October is the rain date for the team finals).
“The competition concept is “TSUNAGU”, which means to connect. FIFG FootGolf World Cup in Japan brings the world together. It is very important for all of us to get together to promote and develop FootGolf as a global sport now, so that FootGolf can be an Olympic sport in the future. I am glad that Tomikazu Fukuda, Governor of Tochigi and Takashi Hanatsuka, Mayor of Sakura city are supporting us.” said Shinpei Matsuura, JFGA President.
“We have more than one year until the next World Cup and I am very happy that we have announced these information. It is important that the federations and the players can make plans and arrange their schedule for the next year.” commented Gábor Gelencsér, president of the FIFG.
Japan is going to host prestigious events in the near future, like the Rugby World Cup this September, the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 and the World Masters Games in 2021.
While allocating the maximum number of slots to FIFG member countries, the organizers will also give places to the top players from World Rankings in 2020 (as of the end of August 2020). That will boost the world ranking in 2020. The number of individual participants in each country will be determined by 31st December 2019.
• If the number of participants in the country is less than the maximum number of participants in each country, the remaining spots will be distributed to other countries.
• Separate rules will be applied for the remaining spots that are overlapped to the top players of the world ranking in 2019 and 2020.
• The maximum spots for countries that joined FIFG in 2019, would be 4 absolute, 1 senior, 1 woman.
• The top world ranking in 2020 will be counted until the end of August 2020.
Antonio Balestra won the UK Open in August. The Frenchman defended his title and this time it gave him 1000 points winning the Major.
You were the title defender before the tournament. Have you dreamed about retaining your title?
I knew it was possible to win again, but it could be very tough due to the high level of the players this year.
Was there a moment when you realised, it is more than a possibility?
I knew that I could do it after the second day, when I was leading by one stroke. Then after the 14th hole, I started to think about the title, but after the drama on the 16th I knew that victory was mine.
What made you to capable of winning in the UK for the second time in a row?
To win a title like this, you have to be very strong and also have a bit of luck. It's a combination of both.
The Japan FootGolf Association held a press conference on Friday to announce the course for the 2020 FootGolf World Cup. The biggest international tournament is going to be on the course of the Seven Hundred Club in Sakura City, Tochigi Prefecture.
The organizers of the fourth world cup announced that the place for the next year’s biggest event will be at the Seven Hundred Club. It is a historic course, opened in 1980, designed by Kazusuke Izumi. It has 18 holes on 1 million square meters with a beautiful and thrilling hall.
Ecuador is one of the latest countries joined FIFG during the summer. Marco Izurieta C., the president of the FootGolf Ecuador is working on to delegate players for the next World Cup and make our sport more and more popular in his country.
What should we know about Marco Izurieta C., president of FootGolf Ecuador?
I am an entrepreneur and a businessman based in Quito, Ecuador. My personal background in the business has been involved in the aviation and technological markets now, by distributing digital products used in the communications and video marketing markets worldwide.
Who helped you to get closer to FootGolf?
My elder son, Sese, who now lives in New York, USA. He has played this sport, while he was on a university tour with his soccer team in the States. He fell in love and recommended it to me around five years ago. It seemed like a good chance to bring it to our country, and since then I have been working hard to start officially with FootGolf Ecuador.
What were the first steps?
Together with a golf club, who are the owners of a 9 hole golf course located in Guayaquil, Ecuador, we started to play and developed this great sport in our country a few years ago. This happened, when I found this public golf club in Ecuador. Now, the FootGolf course is officially located in Samborondón, Guayaquil, and is called “Driving Range - FootGolf and Golf Club”. We had two FootGolf tournaments held this year. We appreciate so much, that Matias Perrone, the latest World Champion came to play here. We travelled abroad with four players to participate at the 2019 US Open also.
Now, we are becoming officially a sport in Ecuador and we are finishing soon the construction of our new official website and we are trying to coordinate the Driving Range Club in Guayaquil to have their players officially affiliate to the FIFG and see, if they can prepare well with the purpose of being able to participate internationally representing our country on the next World Cup in Japan. Also, we are negotiating with two more golf clubs in Quito, Ecuador with the aim of getting them involved in FootGolf as well. This is not an easy job to do and I think it will take more time to develop FootGolf in Quito. Beside that, our Mayor of Quito has made public declarations a month ago, stating that Quito will have its first public golf course in the near future and of course, we will do our work to get FootGolf involved in this new golf course in Quito.
Exclusive interview with Gábor Gelencsér, the new president of the FIFG. He talks about the plans until the next World Cup and how his board will help the countries to progress.
Footgolfer are dreaming about playing on the Olympics. FIFG is now in an observing status at GAISF, which is the first step of becoming a recognized sport. Where is FootGolf now?
We work hard for our dreams. FootGolf has power, that’s why we use the #footgolfpower from now to demonstrate this. Now we have a big opportunity in Hungary to get closer to the GAISF, because Budapest is organizing the Urban Games, where the representatives of the GAISF will be here. Of course, our main goal is to become a member of the GAISF from the observing status. To reach it, we need legal sport federations in the country members. From then we can talk about the possibility of being part of the Olympic games.
What will be your first steps as the new president?
All of us know, there are weak links in the system. We are checking the countries, what kind of background work is in progress. We need the active members to grow the sport worldwide, but on the local level mainly to reach a huge player and game fan basis. We are focusing on raising the amount of the players, because it causes problems in a few countries. If we are going to be successful in this area, it means, the standard of the national championships will be higher than now, and will not cause a problem to organize a tournament with 100 players for example. We lend the countries helping hand, business coaches are ready to measure the problem, make plans to progress.
The closing of the season is near, what are the plans for 2020?
Beside organizing the World Cup in Japan, we are going to have a stable world ranking system. We are negotiating companies running systems like we need. To progress, we want the schedule of the next year ready until the end of 2019. It is an important step, because the players can make plans for the future and the organizers must know what they can arrange, and mainly, not just in a short term. In 2020, the main event is the World Cup, so we are going to arrange the big competitions knowing the dates of the WC. We have to be careful in the future not to have bigger FIFG events on one weekend. To make the FIFG 500 and 250 tournaments more prestigious, we award the best of this competitions with the Silver and Bronze Ball as we do with the Golden Ball. We are arranging the first World Congress in 2020 and we want to hold it every year, because the leaders of the countries must meet regularly, not just during the World Cups.
You are European and have been leading the European Footgolf Grand Slam for a long time, but what are the plans for the other continental series?
Europe has a history of having series like the EFT or later the Grand Slam, where Julien Babel is helping so much to lead that. There will be Asian and Inter-American Tour also, and I hope, Africa will join soon with bigger amount of members.
What is the message of your presidency?
The etiquette and fair play in FootGolf can be attractive, so our main purpose to create values with our beloved sport. I believe in the power of footgolf. That’s why we choose the #footgolfpower to represent this.
After winning once during the German FootGolf week, on the FIFG 250 tournament, Matias Perrone (absolute), Fabio Mazzer (senior) and Izabella Ujvári (women) won again.
The organizing team and the FIFG board have had their first official meeting to discuss the 2020 World Cup. Details are coming on the first week of September.
The world champion Matias Perrone took the first place in the FIFG 50, and right after, the Argentinian finished second on the FIFG 100 losing during the playoff on hole 18 against the Italian Fabio Mazzer. More to come in Germany tomorrow with an FIFG 250.
János Flink won the 7th round of the Hungarian Championship in Balatongyörök, next to lake Balaton with -10 score. On the FIFG 100 event for the second place there was a playoff among Attila Karakas and György Podusil won by Karakas.
There will be two FIFG 100 tournaments in Uruguay, while another 100 World Tour points can be gained in Australia, Belgium, Hungary and in the Netherlands during the weekend.