Espoo United Cuts Women’s Basketball & Ice Hockey Teams

Espoo United's Minna Mali in action / Credit: @united_espoo Instagram

Espoo United says it is axing its women’s basketball and ice hockey teams for financial reasons.

“United’s first year of action was a sporting success” says franchise founder and owner Jussi Salonoja. “But economically, so difficult, that we have to abandon women’s sporting activities”.

According to Emma Terho, a member of the Espoo United women’s ice hockey team, the matter has been under consideration for the whole summer.

“It’s a pity for a club to abandon women’s sports” says Terho. It would have been great to play in an Espoo uniform”.

Both women’s teams enjoyed a good final season. The ice hockey team came second in the women’s Finnish championship; and the basketball team came second in the Korisliiga as well.

New Sports Homes?

According to Emma Terho, the women have been considering where to play in the future. State broadcaster YLE reports that HIFK could be interested in taking the former Espoo United players.

Discussions have also taken place with other teams like EPS, EKS and Blues Juniors in Espoo.

Espoo United is due to play their first match in the women’s league on September 16th.

“The team is training normally, and we are trying to find a new club quickly so that the plans for the next Winter Olympics will not be affected” says Terho.

For the Espoo United basketball team, a new home was easier to find, as they returned to Tapiola Honka.

The Espoo United brand continues with the men’s ice hockey team in the second tier of national ice hockey competition. The men’s basketball team continues to play in the Korisliiga.