Brazil and Latvia will make their debuts at the 2017 World Cup of Darts in June, following the confirmation of the 32 competing nations for this year’s event. The World Cup will see two-player teams competing across four days from June 1st-4th at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt, with all the action broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Defending champions England will be searching for a record fifth World Cup crown, whilst two-time winners Netherlands will also be one of the favourites for the title. Elsewhere, former finalists Wales, Australia, Belgium and Scotland will also headline this year’s competition.
Nevertheless, two emerging darting nations will make their debuts on the World Cup stage. Newcomers Brazil will be led by Diogo Portela, who made his European Tour debut in March. Portela is also the first South-American to compete on the PDC circuit and will relish the opportunity to represent his country.
Latvia will also make their bow this year, with former BDO star Madars Razma captaining the side. Razma won a PDC tour-card at Qualifying School in January and he’ll be joined by qualifier Nauris Gleglu. However, with Brazil and Latvia entering the fray, Norway and The Philippines will not compete in this year’s event.
The final teams for the more established nations will be confirmed next month, but many other nations have already finalised their representatives, including South Africa. Devon Petersen will join up with debutant Deon Oliver, who secured his spot after progressing through a ‘last man standing’ qualifier held in Cape Town during March.
Three-time world champion John Part will also lead Canada into battle for the seventh straight year, although Part will have a new teammate in 2017. ‘Darth Maple’ has been partnered by Jeff Smith and Ken MacNeil in previous years, although this year he’ll be paired with John Norman Jr, who successfully joined the PDC circuit in January.
The American team will once again consist of Darin Young and 1994 World Matchplay champion Larry Butler, whilst Sweden will be represented by the veteran Magnus Caris and Daniel Larsson, who whitewashed Justin Pipe on his European Tour debut at the recent German Darts Masters.
Finland’s side will be made up of Marko Kantele and PDC’s Nordic and Baltic Order of Merit leader Kim Viljanen, whilst Japan’s Yuki Yamada will make his debut alongside the World Cup veteran Haruki Muramatsu. Elsewhere, Rob Szabo will return to partner Cody Harris for New Zealand.
Greek number one John Michael will be paired with Ioannis Selachoglou for the second successive year, as Hong Kong will see Royden Lam paired with Kai Fan Leung. Singapore will be represented by the legendary Paul Lim and Harith Lim, whilst Thanawat Gaweenuntawong and Attapol Eupakaree are set to fly the flag for Thailand.
The Netherlands have been priced as early favourites with title sponsors Betway, whilst England are second favourites at 5/2. Scotland are third favourites at 7/2, with former finalists Australia, Belgium and Wales all potential darkhorses.
The list of participating nations can be viewed below, and the confirmed line-ups for the major nations will be announced in due course.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway World Cup of Darts
Republic of Ireland
United States of America