handball | Umbrella organization defends EM hygiene concept

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In view of the many corona cases at the European Championship, the European Handball Federation (EHF) sees the hygiene concept of the tournament as a major challenge.

“That cannot be denied. However, when the hygiene concept was developed and coordinated with the organizers, the situation was different,” said EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner of the German Press Agency.

Seven German players had previously tested positive at the team hotel in Bratislava. Nevertheless, the EHF considers its concept to be appropriate even in the current situation with the highly contagious omicron variant. “Together with the organizers, we sharpened some points even before the tournament and we continue to do so,” said Hausleitner. From the Austrian’s point of view, this also applies to the accommodation of the teams in Slovakia and Hungary.

“All the teams have their own areas in the hotels. They also eat in these areas. Teams that have had multiple infections are accommodated in single rooms. As far as the hotels are concerned, the teams are basically already in a bubble,” said Hausleitner. France’s multiple world handball player Nikola Karabatic complained at the beginning of the European Championship about the conditions in the hotel in Hungary, where, according to him, the French moved among guests who were not wearing a mask. “The possible grievances were addressed and rectified,” said Hausleitner.

The EHF is apparently not considering canceling the tournament at the moment. “In a team sport like handball and also in a case like the game between Germany and Poland, it shows that on the one hand there is the possibility of nominating substitutes and on the other hand that the quality of these substitutes is very high,” he said. National coach Alfred Gislason reacted to the Corona outbreak in his team by nominating five Bundesliga professionals for the game against Poland on Tuesday (6:00 p.m. / ZDF).

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