15 Dec. 2020
The 27th IHF Men’s World Championship in Egypt is less than a month away and preparations well underway to ensure a smooth and successful tournament.
On Monday, IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa met with Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Dr Ashraf Sobhy, Egyptian Minister of Health and Population Dr Hala Zayed, as well as members of the Egypt 2021 Organising Committee to discuss the latest updates regarding the organisation of the tournament.
With the current health situation a priority due to the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols have been already put in place and an updated Egypt 2021 COVID-19 Medical Precaution Plan was released in the beginning of December, which was in the focus of the talks.
“We have set special tough and strict medical measures and precautions to be followed during the Egypt 2021 and there will be no place for those who fail to adhere to these measures,” said Dr Moustafa.
The current protocols put in place were underlined by the Minister of Health and Population, with an emphasis on the testing protocol and the bubble concept which will be enforced at Egypt 2021.
With 20,000 PCR tests set to be taken prior to and during the competition, it will be a challenge, but Dr Zayed concluded that the success of the plan will rely on the regular update of data to guarantee the accuracy of the tests.
Moreover, as revealed by Dr Sobhy, every hotel hosting teams, participants or organisers will be closed to the public to ensure stakeholder safety.
As Egypt 2021 will be open to fans, Dr Zayed also stated that spectators coming from abroad will travel on different routes within Egypt than home fans to ensure no contact. Those who violate the rules will be fined.
“We are lucky that the Women’s EHF EURO is now underway in Denmark, as we will have the chance to evaluate their experience. Meanwhile, we are working to ensure that every visitor from abroad who returns to their home country will feel that the event was a good ambassador for Egypt,” added the IHF President.
With the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 being postponed to 2021, there is an interest from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on how organisers prepare a safe global sporting event.
“IOC President [Dr Thomas Bach] has confirmed he will attend Egypt 2021 to witness how Egypt will organise the IHF Men’s World Championship event amid the current challenges,” Dr Moustafa stated.
Egypt 2021 will not only be among the first major global team sports events to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is also the first 32-team event in the history of the IHF Men’s World Championship.
About Egypt 2021
The 27th edition of the IHF Men’s World Championship – the first IHF World Championship to be played with 32 teams – will take place in Egypt from 13 to 31 January 2021 at four venues: Cairo Stadium Sports Hall, New Capital Sports Hall, 6th of October Sports Hall and Borg Al Arab Sports Hall. The IHF men’s flagship event will feature 108 games, with the final weekend taking place in Cairo.