Updates: 12.01.2021 18:28
Cairo – Due to the high number of coronavirus cases in the team, Czech handball players unexpectedly canceled their participation in the upcoming World Cup in Egypt at the last minute. It was approved by the federal executive. The representatives were to leave on Wednesday morning and play the basic group on Thursday with a match against Sweden.
There are currently 12 infected players in the national team and both head coaches Jan Filip and Daniel Kubeš continue to have a positive test. For health reasons, five more players would not be able to take part in the championship, and of the 21 names the implementation team had anticipated, only four handball players could now travel.
Representatives have struggled with coronavirus since the beginning of January, when they began final preparations in Pilsen. Due to the covid-19 in the team, they could not play the opening double match of the European Championship qualification against the Faroe Islands last week. Filip and Kubeš and later a number of players had a positive test. On Friday and at the weekend, the team in Pilsen, where it was going, was joined by substitutes, but even that did not save the team’s participation in the tournament.
“In the current situation, the implementation team came up with a recommendation that from a health and sports point of view, participation is very important. After considering the recommendation, the executive basically took the same position,” said Jaroslav Chvalný, president of the Czech association.
“Even if we left, it would be with players who haven’t had covid yet. So there’s a risk that they could get infected at the championship. From a sporting point of view, we don’t have to talk about it. Of the 21 players the national team relies on, 17 who can’t leave, as well as both coaches.We evaluated it as a gambling from a sports point of view.We do not want to offend Czech handball at all costs.We would consider it if there was a sanction for non-participation or discrimination in the next We do not intend to take the risk of going there on a trip, “added Chvalný.
According to him, no sanction from the world federation IHF will endanger the Czech union. Macedonia has reportedly been contacted as an alternate participant.
The Czech team was to start at the World Championships for the first time since 2015, when they finished in 17th place in Qatar. In addition to Sweden, he had to compete with the native Egypt and Chile in the basic group.
Renounting the participation of any Czech national team from the world championship is a completely unique thing. Only hockey players resigned from the World Championships in one of the Olympic team sports in 1953 due to the death of the then President Klement Gottwald. In 1950 and 1951, for political reasons, Czechoslovakia did not send the team to the championship at all.
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