Ahead of the first of the 84 matches at France 2017, the 25th IHF Men’s World Handball Championship officially opened at AccorHotels Arena in Paris.
A sold-out crowd of 15,700 witnessed a spectacular light show as all 24 participating nations' flags were presented, followed by a DJ set from French deep house DJ FEDER - which featured a spectacular performance of the official championship song ‘Lordly’.
In his speech, IHF President Dr. Hassan Moustafa welcomed the participating teams and fans and expressed his gratitude for the hard work of the organising committee, before turning his attention to the high-level performances he hopes to see across the board.
“I am looking forward to seeing the cooperation between the players and coaches, and also between both of them and the referees on the other side. I hope the best teams will reach the final, under the model of fair play. I hope also to see outstanding performances from the players, coaches and referees during this World Championship.”
Following the opening ceremony, hosts France immediately took to the court for their opening matching of the tournament, against 2016 Olympic Games hosts Brazil.