IHF Statement on COVID-19

06 Mar. 2020

IHF Statement on COVID-19

The International Handball Federation (IHF), in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is carefully monitoring the situation related to COVID-19. 

The health and safety of the teams and their entourage, officials, delegates, staff and fans are of utmost importance and therefore it is vital to collaborate with all stakeholders and remain in close contact with the relevant authorities in order to be able to react in an appropriate and timely manner. 

As of 6 March, the following events and courses have been re-awarded or postponed:

- 2020 IHF Women’s Youth (U18) World Championship: re-awarded to Croatia
- Global Referee Training Programme (GRTP) in Kuwait: postponed 
- Handball at School course in Kuwait: postponed
- Handball at School course in PR of China: postponed

Furthermore, all lecturers coming from high-risk countries and who have travelled to such countries in the past 14 days have been uninvited to take part in the IHF Lecturers’ Seminar, which is set to be held from 6 to 8 March in Hungary, or the preceding Working Group meetings on 4/5 March, in order not to risk any infection. 

The next handball event, the Women’s IHF Tokyo Handball Qualification 2020, is scheduled to take place from 20 to 22 March in Spain, Hungary and Montenegro. The preparations for this event, just as well as the Men’s Tokyo Qualification in April, continue as planned. Meanwhile, the IHF will continuously monitor the coronavirus situation in general, with a particular focus on the participating teams coming from high-risk countries in order to assess their participation. 

The International Handball Federation urges everyone to read and follow the procedures for self-protection as advised by the World Health Organization.

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Discussing the coronavirus, the IOC Executive Board praised the “great unity and solidarity of the athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations and governments” at their meeting on 3 March. It also welcomed the “close collaboration and flexibility with regard to the preparations for the Games.” According to IOC President Dr Thomas Bach the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are on schedule and “the IOC, in cooperation with all the authorities and NOCs, is fully committed to successful Olympic Games in Tokyo starting on the 24 July.”

Statement from the IOC

The preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 continue as planned. Countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of Tokyo 2020’s plans to host a safe and secure Games. Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with all relevant organisations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and will review any countermeasures that may be necessary with all relevant organisations. In addition, the IOC is in contact with the World Health Organization, as well as its own medical experts. We have full confidence that the relevant authorities, in particular in Japan and China, will take all the necessary measures to address the situation.

Helpful links

- World Health Organisation 
  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation reports

- SOS International
  Travel restrictions, flight operations and screening

- Centers for Disease control and presentation 
  Destination list

- IOC Athlete 365 platform
  Coronavirus outbreak advice for athletes
  IOC Medical and Scientific Director, Dr Richard Budgett, advises on the Coronavirus