Frankfurt / Main (dpa) - A few days before the start of the handball World Cup, there is fierce resistance among players against the planned admission of spectators to the final from January 13th to 31st in Egypt.
"On Epiphany, the European players' union EHPU wrote a letter to the Egyptian world association president Hassan Moustafa on behalf of the captains and all players of the European national teams, urging them to refrain from spectators during the World Cup," said Germany's experienced goalkeeper Johannes Bitter "Hamburger Abendblatt".
In the letter from which the “Mannheimer Morgen” quoted, it says, among other things: “We are extremely concerned about the Corona situation and the decision that viewers can take part in the games.
Our concern has increased due to the recent escalation in European countries.
For us, this raised concerns about the tournament. "
The captains of the European World Cup participants, including Uwe Gensheimer, Denmark's world champion goalkeeper Niklas Landin and Domagoj Duvnjak from Croatia from THW Kiel, appealed to IHF boss Moustafa.
He should “check whether this is the safest way to organize the championship” and how the admission of spectators to the games can be organized “in order to maintain the bubble concept for the teams.
We strongly recommend reconsidering this issue. "
The organizer is currently planning a utilization of the hall capacity of 20 percent.
The preliminary round matches of the DHB selection against Uruguay, Cape Verde and Hungary in Giza could be followed live by up to 1040 fans.
"Playing in front of spectators is absurd not only because of the additional health risks, but also in view of the situation in our home countries, where people should not leave their homes as far as possible and only families can watch our games on television," Bitter criticized the concept.
Julius Kühn also described the plan as sending the wrong signal in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Actually, you should say I'm looking forward to playing in front of spectators again, but due to the current situation I'm not enthusiastic about it," said the backcourt player from MT Melsungen.
The German team completed their World Cup dress rehearsal in the EM qualification against Austria on Sunday in Cologne in front of empty stands.
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Squad of German handball players
Schedule of the German handball players