— Published 12 January 2021

The Men’s World Cup behind closed doors

Inevitable. The men’s handball world championship, scheduled for January 13-31, 2021 in Egypt, will be played behind closed doors. The International Handball Federation (IHF) had to come to terms with the health crisis. They announced it at the end of a meeting organised during the last weekend in Cairo between Hassan Moustafa, the president of the world body of the discipline, and the Egyptian Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly. Until this interview, the IHF and the organisers were considering allowing the public to be present in all four tournament halls, up to a maximum of 20% of the capacity. But they finally revised their plans, especially under pressure from European teams. The European Players Union had written to Hassan Moustafa at the beginning of the year to express their concern at the prospect of playing in front of the public, in a country where the number of cases of COVD-19 has reached 150,000. The organisation had already launched its ticketing operation. All seats sold will be refunded. The 2021 World Cup is the first in history to be held with 32 teams.