US team suffers from 18 corona cases
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Even before the tournament starts in Egypt, the handball world championship threatens to become a disaster for a nation. The United States has a high number of corona infected people on the team. “We have no defenders,” says the coach.
KShortly before the start of the handball World Cup in Egypt, several players on the US national team tested positive for the corona virus, according to media reports. As the Norwegian newspaper “Aftenposten” reported, citing US coach Robert Hedin, there are a total of 18 corona cases in the team.
Andreas Hertelt, team manager in the USA, confirmed “17 or 18 infections”. An official statement from the American handball federation and the world association IHF has not yet been issued.
Nevertheless, the USA want to send a rump troop for the opening game against Austria on Thursday. “We’re sending twelve players to Egypt on Wednesday, but we have no defense,” said Hedin. “But we have a keeper.”
The US selection has been in Denmark for preparations for the World Cup since January 4th. “We tested ourselves the whole time and last had a quick test on Monday. It was negative, but when we went to the portal for previous tests, 18 out of the group were positive, ”said Hedin. “We believe that one of those who came from the US brought the infection with them. But we don’t know. ”Besides Austria, Norway and record world champion France are the other preliminary round opponents for the Americans.
Previously, World Cup participants in the Czech Republic had already reported more than ten corona cases among players and coaches. Should a team not be able to take part in the finals, North Macedonia would be the first to move up. Switzerland with world-class director Andy Schmid from Bundesliga club Rhein-Neckar Löwen is also available on call.
DHB travels to Egypt with quarter-finals ambitions
The German handball players travel confidently to the World Cup in Egypt. National coach Alfred Gislason flies with 20 players from Düsseldorf to Cairo on Tuesday morning, from where the bus continues to the team hotel in Giza.
After a conversation with national coach Alfred Gislason, the backcourt player Christian Dissinger is not on board. For the 29-year-old professional from the Macedonian top club Vardar Skopje, 22-year-old Lukas Stutzke from Bergisches HC will join the World Cup team.
The first opponent in the preliminary round of the DHB selection in Group A is Uruguay, newcomer to the World Cup next Friday. Other competitors for the first three places, which will make it into the main round, are Cape Verde and Hungary. As a World Cup goal, the association has given the quarter-finals.
World Cup without a spectator
Contrary to what was planned, the tournament will now take place without fans. The organizers are probably reacting to a protest letter from numerous players. The captains of the European national teams around the German left winger Uwe Gensheimer had expressed their concerns about the spectator plans. Until recently, the organizers wanted to use up to 20 percent of the audience capacity in the halls.
“This is very good news for handball and its external impact in the next few weeks,” said goalkeeper Johannes Bitter. Originally, up to 1040 viewers could have watched the preliminary round matches of the DHB selection. In the games in Egypt’s handball temple, the Cairo Stadium Sports Hall, 3400 of the total of 17,000 seats could have been occupied. This daring plan is now off the table.