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Corona infection among several teams in the men’s handball league sends after Thursday night the tournament on a European Championship break with a large backlog.
If all goes well, three out of seven scheduled matches will be played on Thursday. Four matches in the round have been postponed due to corona infection and bring the pool of postponed matches up to 16 from the last three rounds of the year.
They have to be squeezed into an already very close program between February and April 9, where the basic game is completed.
»The bow is tight. The elastic that is was already very tight, “admits Frank Smith, head of tournaments at the Danish Handball Association (DHF).
In the Metal League in ice hockey, it has been decided that canceled matches in the basic game will result in both teams getting 1.5 points to the table instead of trying to push the match into later in the season.
But that model is not much to use in handball. Although stakeholders are aware that there will not be many more postponements before alternative solutions are needed.
“At least it’s not a solution we’ve discussed before. I doubt that the model will resonate in the world of handball, but everything must be discussed, “says Frank Smith.
“I do not feel there is much support for such a proposal. I think you would rather bite your teeth so much more together and then settle the matches on the field. “
He has no doubt that the clubs will go to great lengths to ensure that everything is decided on the floor around the Danish halls.
‘They play for Champions League places and survival in the league, where there are two teams that have to go out. So I think it will be very, very important to the clubs that those matches are played, “he said.
“There we can not completely compare ourselves with ice hockey, with the conditions they have. That is why I also believe that our matches will all be played. “
The European Championship finals in January, which send the men’s league on hiatus, come in handy in terms of getting the infection under control. Still, the tournament manager knows that there is no room for many more postponements after the European Championships.
With the champions from Aalborg, who also have the Champions League on the program, the elastic is approaching the breaking point.
Director Jan Larsen believes that the postponed matches can be squeezed in, as it looks now. But like Frank Smith, he also believes that one is approaching the limit of the art of the possible.
“If it continues, then it may be necessary to do something, and I must not be able to deny that it can also (the initiative in the Metal League, ed.) Become a consideration in handball,” he says.
“We are not there yet. But there are not many more rounds to be canceled before we have to look at something alternative. “
He completely agrees that everything possible must be done for it all to be decided on the pitch. And Aalborg wants to stretch as far as possible.
“It’s going to be an unusually tough program. It is a special situation we have gotten into because of the corona, which is not anyone’s fault, “says the Aalborg director.
However, his club and top team GOG, which also plays in Europe, can count on understanding and flexibility from the league rivals. This is what TTH Holstebro’s director, John Mikkelsen, says.
»It is about taking GOG and Aalborg into account, with the program they have in the spring. We need to look at how they can continue to be some good representatives in Europe for Denmark. We have to solve that, “he says.
“Because they are the ones who have the worst program. And the rest of us who do not play in Europe need to be a little creative and flexible in things so that we can make it a success. I think all the clubs are set on that. “
He mentions “super weekends” or Final 4-like tournaments with multiple matches in one weekend as possible solutions to look at.
After Thursday, both clubs and the tournament organizers can suck in air, celebrate New Year and then otherwise start piece together the match puzzle that needs to be rethought while there is a European champion in Hungary and Slovakia.
/ ritzau /
Source: www.berlingske.dk by www.berlingske.dk.
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