The topic of driving home is off the table – but only until further notice.

"We are having the EHF check the conditions under which a withdrawal is possible at a later date," said Mark Schober late on Wednesday evening.

The chairman of the board of the German Handball Federation (DHB) had previously summarized the talks at the end of which the DHB decided to continue the EM in Hungary and Slovakia despite twelve active corona cases: "We came to the conclusion that we can take responsibility for it to stay in the tournament. The situation is very dynamic. We may make a different decision tomorrow. In addition to health, sporting, legal and economic considerations also played a role.”

The DHB formally applied to the EHF to move the first main round game against Spain from this Thursday (6:00 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Handball Championship, on ARD and on sportdeutschland.tv) to Saturday or Monday.

The decision was still pending - if the game were to be postponed, the Germans would have to play three games in three days.

On Wednesday evening, DHB, the Handball Bundesliga and the EHF debated for hours. Mark Schober is a member of the EHF executive board himself, so he knows both sides. The subject of departure should have been quickly off the table. From the headquarters of the European Handball Federation (EHF), President Michael Wiederer is said to have brought the high claims for recourse to the DHB. Should the DHB withdraw from the tournament, they would have to be paid to the EHF. It is apparently about a seven-figure amount that would be due if German games were to be canceled - the EHF would be in the word with sponsors and television stations.

He could not quantify the amount of a possible sum, said Schober.

Even if the DHB were subject to certain constraints as the host of the EM 2024, a withdrawal is possible, said the CEO.

There is no force majeure because there are still enough playable players in the DHB squad or they will be added.

Three players will be nominated

The DHB had already obtained an opinion within the team. "We asked all the players if they would like to get out of the tournament," said sports director Axel Kromer, "no one reported it." Captain Johannes Golla said in a DHB statement: "We talked in the team about how we continue and finish the tournament. That is our clear goal, everything else was not our issue.” Critical tones have long been coming from the league. "It makes no sense to keep loading players from the Bundesliga," said HBL President Uwe Schwenker.

First of all, it was "reloaded" again and the Bundesliga professionals Lukas Stutzke and David Schmidt from Bergisches HC and Tobias Reichmann from MT Melsungen were nominated.

According to the adjusted EHF regulations, all three would be ready for action against Spain on Thursday evening if they could show a negative PCR test.

The exit scenario became tangible because on Wednesday afternoon three other players with positive corona tests failed and isolated themselves in their hotel rooms: Christoph Steinert, Sebastian Heymann and Djibril M'Bengue.

The DHB announced in the early evening that a member of the functional team was also affected.

These are the cases ten to twelve in the camp of the German national team at the European Championship.

The afternoon training in the Ondrej Nepela Arena was then voluntary.

There are now 28 players in the DHB squad.

As of Thursday morning, Gislason only had 13 players left: six from his original group, Rune Dahmke, Johannes Bitter, Paul Drux, Sebastian Firnhaber and Fabian Wiede, who were nominated on Tuesday, as well as Patrick Zieker and goalkeeper Daniel Rebmann – they reached the Slovakian capital on Wednesday. On Wednesday evening it was clear that Julius Kühn would not return from his quarantine. His first PCR test after the quarantine ended was positive and he remains isolated.

The example of Timo Kastening shows that it is not a matter of course for players to return in full fitness after the quarantine: He revealed to the “Spiegel” that he suffers from a sore throat, headache and cough: “I am skeptical whether it will be the case in this final round still works with one mission.” Theoretically, Kastening could have been there again on Sunday.

He went into isolation on Monday after testing positive.

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