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Dubai – Yasmine El Tohamy – The USA have become the second team to withdraw from the 2021 Handball World Cup due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the team.
USA were placed in group F alongside Austria, France, and Norway after qualifying as the North America and Caribbean representative.
However just hours before the start of the tournament they have withdrawn from the finals and will be replaced by Switzerland, who will participate in the World Cup for 11th-ever time – the first time since 1995.
Switzerland were on a waiting list of six countries prepared to enter the tournament in case another nation is unable to participate in the finals.
The list included North Macedonia, Switzerland, Poland, Montenegro, Serbia, and Poland, with the first replacing Egypt’s group opponents the Czech Republic due to also a high number of COVID-19 infected players.
USA’s withdrawal means that there will be no North America and Caribbean representative in the 2021 World Cup, which is held in Egypt from 13 to 31 January 2021.
The tournament’s opener is set to take place tomorrow January 13th at the Cairo Stadium Hall, with the first game being between hosts Egypt and Chile at 19:00 Cairo Time.
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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