Czech Republic withdraw from 2021 Handball World Cup

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Dubai – Yasmine El Tohamy – Photo: EHF

Czech Republic, have withdrawn from the 2021 Handball World Cup after discovering a large number of COVID-19 cases among their squad.

Czech were drawn in Group G of the tournament alongside Egypt, Chile and Sweden. However, 15 coronavirus cases were discovered among their squad, which exceeds the limit of players allowed.

They were therefore disqualified and will be replaced with North Macedonia, according to the deputy director of the World Handball Championship Khaled Fathi.

Macedonia were on a waiting list of six countries prepared to enter the tournament in case another nation is unable participate in the finals. The list includes North Macedonia, Switzerland, Poland, Montenegro, Serbia and Poland.

The tournament’s opener is set to take place tomorrow January 13th at the Cairo Stadium Hall, with the first game being between Egypt and Chile at 19:00 Cairo Time.

The 2021 IHF World Men’s Handball Championship is held in Egypt from 13 to 31 January 2021 and will see the participation of 32 countries for the first time in its history.

Fans were initially allowed in the stands, before the IHF decided to reduce it to just 20% of the stadium’s capacity and finally decided to play it behind closed doors due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.

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