Stuttgart (AP) - The German national handball team will have to do without Hendrik Pekeler, Steffen Weinhold and Finn Lemke at the World Cup in Egypt.
All three players canceled the national coach Alfred Gislason on Tuesday for family reasons, as the German Handball Federation (DHB) announced.
Pekeler (THW Kiel), Weinhold (THW Kiel) and Lemke (MT Melsungen) are the next national players after Patrick Wiencek (THW Kiel) who do not want to take part in the tournament from January 13th to 31st.
"The general development of the corona pandemic with the renewed hard lockdown worries me as a father of a family, and I cannot leave my wife and daughters alone for more than four weeks during this time," said Pekeler.
Previously, Franz Semper and Tim Suton, who were seriously injured in their knee, had also canceled.
Backcourt player Fabian Wiede also does without because he doesn't feel ready after a long shoulder injury.
«In terms of sport, of course, the further cancellations by Finn Lemke, Steffen Weinhold and Hendrik Pekeler hurt us.
Everyone explained their motives to me in a personal conversation, ”said Gislason.
"We will now plan with other players and continue to invest everything in order to achieve the best possible result at the World Cup in Egypt."
The Icelander currently has 28 players from his 35-man squad, which was announced in mid-November.
The national coach will travel to Egypt with 20 players.
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Squad of German handball players
Schedule of the German handball players
Presidium of the German Handball Federation
Board of the German Handball Federation
DHB notification on further cancellations