The IFA Board of Directors was re-elected at the IFA 2023 Congress on the sidelines of the 16th IFA Men’s Fistball World Championship in Mannheim. The World Championship has set new standards. Germany won the World Championship title for the fourth time in a row.
The 51-year-old President Jörn Verleger from Germany, who has lead the world federation since 2019, was unanimously re-elected together with his the Board of Directors. Vice-President is Dr. Giana Hexsel from Brazil, Secretary General Christoph Oberlehner from Austria, Treasurer Franz Peter Iten from Switzerland and Chairman of the Sports Commission Gastao Englert from Brazil. The 11-member presidium now includes eight nationalities. Around a third of the positions are held by women.
It was the spectacular Fistball festival that athletes and fans had been looking forward to for months. After the preliminary round matches and the quarterfinals in Mannheim’s Rhein-Neckar Stadium, the finals in the SAP Arena were the sporting and emotional highlight of this world championship. Germany as host made history. An indoor final round and on natural grass – that has never happened before.
“This was a terrific World Championship in a whole new dimension. We have all never experienced such an atmosphere,” said Verleger. “The project to move the turf to a multi-sport arena has worked out. We saw the possibilities and potential of the sport of Fistball.”
For eight days, the best 16 nations from every continent promoted their sport. More than 30,000 spectators flocked to the Rhein-Neckar Stadium during the World Championship week and to the SAP Arena on the final weekend. In front of a record crowd of 10,000 spectators, Germany celebrated its fourth consecutive World Championship title.
More than 500 volunteers were on hand to provide guests from around the world with an unforgettable event. One of the highlights off the pitch was School’s Day on the third day of the preliminary round, when 2,700 children and young people created an exuberant atmosphere.
“The arena was unique in terms of presenting our sport. This was a Fistball spectacle that the teams created together with the fans that will be remembered for a long time.”
For Verleger, who together with Secretary General Christoph Oberlehner from Austria, was one of the driving forces behind the successful World Championship project, it will be the last four-year term of office, as a change to the statutes with a maximum term of office of eight years was also adopted at the Congress on the proposal of the Board of Directors.
Germany impressively to the 13th world championship title
The new and old world champion is Germany, who impressively lived up to their role as favorites in front of their home crowd. For the record world champions, this is already the fourth title in a row, the 13th overall. The team around superstar Patrick Thomas did not give Austria a chance in the final and scored a clear 4:0 victory. “There is nothing greater than winning a World Championship at home,” said Thomas, who like captain Fabian Sagstetter celebrated his fourth World Championship triumph. “We worked hard all year for this title. We’re really happy that we made it. It was extremely fun to play here, the atmosphere was insane,” said Sagstetter happily.