The Dutch handball players stay at home. The international handball federation IHF has informed the Dutch association that it does not expect any further withdrawals for the World Cup, which started in Egypt on Wednesday. The team of national coach Erlingur Richardsson was ready to step in as a reserve in case a country could not participate in the global final round due to the corona virus.
Initially, the Orange was the third reserve. The Czech Republic and the United States had to withdraw from their selections at the beginning of this week due to corona infections. North Macedonia and Switzerland took over the vacant spots.
In recent days, the Dutch handball players have been preparing for the trip to Egypt in case another country would drop out. Several participants had to deal with infections within the selection, such as Cape Verde which had to be quarantined in Portugal. However, it did not lead to any more cancellations for the World Cup.
The Dutch federation declared that it was prepared to send the national team to Egypt at the IHF, if necessary. National coach Richardsson was already ready for the possible trip at Schiphol Airport on Wednesday. “I skipped my flight to Iceland just in case. I really didn’t think the situation would change so quickly,” said the Icelander. “At the beginning of this month I had not thought about it for a moment, but now it is different. When we get a call, we go. The players are ready. It is a dream for them to play at a World Cup.”
The only time the handball players participated in a World Cup was in 1961. In January last year, the Dutch men’s team was active for the first time at a European Championship.