A withdrawal from the European Handball Championship would have had massive economic and sporting consequences for the German Handball Federation (DHB).

That said Martin Hausleitner, Secretary General of the European Handball Federation (EHF), on Friday morning before the German game in the evening (8.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the European Handball Championship, on ZDF and on sportdeutschland.tv) against Norway.

"According to our legal system, leaving the tournament would have meant a ban for the nation, i.e. no participation in a World Cup qualification and difficult circumstances with regard to the EM 2024," said Hausleitner.

"There would also have been economic consequences, which we would also have been obliged to claim."

The DHB had the possibility of a withdrawal checked by the EHF on Thursday.

Twelve positive corona tests among German players had led to the German association discussing leaving the tournament in Hungary and Slovakia.

But the risk of missing the World Cup in a year and maybe even losing the home European Championship in two years as an organizer was apparently too great for the DHB.

With a view to the mild or symptom-free courses of the infected, the DHB then decided to stay in the tournament.

After more than 50 corona cases in ten of the twelve main round teams, Hausleitner said about the continuation of the EM: "We plan from day to day and I don't know what challenges we will face tomorrow. However, we plan to organize this competition to the end. The teams and organizers want to keep going - we're sticking to that." The Omikron variant "completely changed the situation."

There should be no return to the supposedly safe bubble concept for overriding reasons: "I can't see it as a fatal mistake that we didn't have a bubble," said Hausleitner, "we have the Women's World Cup in Spain in December without one carried out properly without any problems. We would have gone back to 2020 with a bubble. That was not intended. We want to give people a step back to normality. No country goes into lockdown. This general trend cannot be ignored.” Infections can always occur within a team.

Hausleitner does not see any damage to the image of handball: "We see a much higher added value in holding this event and showing that we are facing up to the situation than fearing that there will be damage to the image." The health of the active people is always there had top priority.

Players who hug their families in the stands after the end of the game, teams mingling at breakfast in the hotel: there are many indications of where the hygiene concept has had cracks, possible gateways for the virus.

Not every association was able to isolate itself as well as initially promised.

Hausleitner said: “We have adjusted our rules in this regard.

But there are different approaches to dealing with Covid.

Some teams are more disciplined, some less.

Each team is responsible for itself.”