In the complicated conditions of the pandemic, the preparation of the 2022 European Handball Championship continues. The event will take place in Slovakia and Hungary.
On Wednesday, exactly one year remained until the opening match of the championship.
“We got the right to co-organize the championship in June 2018, when no one knew that the whole world would get into a situation that still persists. The organization of the European Championships is in a different spirit than we planned.
It is not easy, but we have experienced organizers. We are going according to plan, but the problem is that we could not launch our support projects – school tournaments or events in the field of tourism, “recalls the head of the Slovak Handball Association, Jaroslav Holeša.
In Slovakia, matches will take place in three groups. One in the Steel Arena in Košice and Slovak representatives will also present it. Two will be at the Ondrej Nepel Winter Stadium in Bratislava. Further matches were planned in Budapest, Debrecen and Szeged.
Preparations have been underway since March last year. The organizers are led by Igor Nemeček, who has extensive experience in the preparation of two world hockey championships.
“Our work has intensified since last summer. The matches in the Euro Cup were important for us, in which the Slovaks will meet Spain, Hungary and Croatia. They were supposed to take place in November, but were canceled at the last minute. Their deadline has shifted, they are important to us, we want to try the organization in the halls, where the European Championships will also be played, “stressed Nemeček.
One of 12 matches
The sports training of Slovaks who do not have to play a qualification is complicated.
“We had a two-year team training program ready, but at the very beginning it was in ruins due to the coronavirus. To date, we have had to play twelve matches with world-class teams, the only one that has taken place. Of the twenty players, twelve have already overcome COVID-19, and now five have problems. It is very difficult to form a team, “Holeša continued.
Coach Peter Kukučka also dealt with this disease. The next stage of preparation started on Wednesday and he will again miss more players.
“I’ve been promising myself a lot since the January triple block, but it has fallen apart, now the last part is waiting for us. The players who overcame the disease will also come.
After several trainings, we will move to Györ on the 21st for matches with the Hungarian team under 21. Then we will meet in March and we should play three meetings – at home against the Spaniards and at home and abroad with Hungary. I believe that we will not lose them, we need as many such matches with strong opponents as possible, “he says.
The coach and the organizers believe that the spectators of the European Championships will be able to watch in terms of spectators.
“For us, the profit from ticket sales is the only income. We will start selling tickets for the matches of our handball players from February 1, “said Nemeček. The Germans should be in one of the Bratislava groups, the Czechs in the other, but they have not yet played a single qualifying match. The composition of the groups will be decided by the draw in May.
The World Championships in Egypt without spectators started on Wednesday. Although the domestic authorities allowed some of the points to be filled in, for security reasons, the teams did not agree. The Czechs could not travel to the scene, several cases of coronavirus infection appeared in their team. The US team also withdrew for the same reasons.
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