NETANYA, Israel – Despite a three-day travel delay, the Iroquois Nationals arrived on July 12 just in time for opening ceremonies and their first game against Team USA in the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships.
After passport procedural issues prevented the team from leaving Canada on Monday, FIL officials worked diligently with Canada and Israel to ensure the team’s Haudenosaunee passports were honored. As defending Bronze medalists and originators of the game of lacrosse, the presence of the Iroquois Nationals is fundamental to the World Games.
FIL CEO Jim Scherr said, “FIL and the World Lacrosse local organizing committee worked with both the Canadian and Israeli governments to resolve the travel restrictions involving the Iroquois Nationals leaving North America. We are pleased that the Iroquois Nationals arrived and are scheduled to play their first game Thursday night against Team USA. It is important for the sport of Lacrosse to have the top three returning medalists from the 2014 World Championship in Netanya.”
The team finally was able to travel from Toronto on Wednesday but faced additional flight delays that caused the team to arrive at 1pm on Thursday, only hours before their first match. After clearing customs with his Haudenosaunee passport, Team Captain Jeremy Thompson said the team was in good spirits. “It’s been a long journey to get here but we kept our spirit and we made sure we stayed together as a team. We remained upbeat. It’s the World Championship and it’s good to be here.”
The Iroquois checked in to their hotel at 2pm, ate and rested for only two hours before they headed to the Men’s Lacrosse World Championship Opening Ceremonies at 6:30pm. The team then faced off at 8:30 pm against the USA in a shootout that ended with a first half 7:6 shootout win for the Iroquois and a final score that ended 17:9 for the USA.
The 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship preliminary competition is set from July 11-20. The Iroquois Nationals will compete in 7-8 games during the 10-day event. Following a full schedule of 169 games of competition, the 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship bronze, silver and gold medalists will be crowned on July 21 at Netanya Stadium. The full schedule is here: 2018 FIL Men’s World Championship schedule
ESPN and ESPN+ will broadcast the games in the United States from start to finish with 10 days of play on ESPN2 and ESPNU for 14 games, and more than 160 games available on the ESPN+, the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. The FIL Men’s World Championship will also be available in Canada on TSN and locally in Israel on Sport 5. Fans will be able to watch the games in more than 50 countries.
The FIL Men’s World Championship Broadcast schedule and links is here.