21 April 2021 04:44 PM

The 27th IHF Men's Handball World Championship

Friday، 08 January 2021 - 11:38 PM

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Republic, inaugurated, on Wednesday evening 1/13/2021, the 27th IHF Men's Handball World Championship, which Egypt is hosting during the period from 13 to 31st January 2021 with the participation of 32 countries for the first time to become a global sport celebration on the land of Egypt, and the largest sporting event in the world to be organized with public attendance since the beginning of the
Corona pandemic, representing a new challenge for the Egyptian as well as the international sports system showing the extent of the world's confidence in Egypt's capabilities to hold the championship on its land amid exceptional circumstances that are spreading throughout the whole world. 

President El-Sisi said in his speech during the opening of the Championship at Cairo International Stadium Indoor Sports Hall "I welcome all the guests to the land of Egypt in the largest handball sports gathering ... The world has become able to coexist under the new reality imposed by the Corona pandemic, and we will overcome this by God’s willing and become more coherent and integrated in the face of various challenges, and more understanding of the value of life, peaceful and safe coexistence among peoples." The president added: "In the name of Allah and with the blessing of Allah, we announce the opening of the 27th IHF Men's Handball World Championship."

The organizing committee of the 2021 IHF Men's Handball World Championship prepared a loud party in the indoor hall at Cairo International Stadium, despite its closure to the public, given that the tournament was held behind closed doors due to the Corona virus pandemic.
Hassan Mustafa, President of the International Handball Federation, delivered his speech at the opening ceremony, where he said: "The tournament would not have succeeded in Europe or America, if it had been held there instead of Egypt."

The President of the International Handball Federation thanked all the teams that agreed to participate in the tournament, despite the difficulty of organizing it in light of the Corona pandemic.

Tamer Hosni participated in the opening ceremony, during which he presented the official song of the tournament accompanied by Marwan Moussa and Hoda Sherbini, which bears the name "Raise Your Hand."

And after that the Egyptian national handball team opened the tournament by beating the Chilean national team with a score (35-29), in their opening World Championship game.

Yahya Al-Daraa, the star of the Egyptian national handball
team, won the man of the match title, which is awarded by the organizing committee. 

The Logo of the Championship: It is a combination between the Pharaohs’ key of life and and a handball player who shoots. 

The Championship will start on January 13th with the opening match between the Egyptian national handball team and the Chilean national handball team, and it will end with the final match on January 31st.

The Stadiums of the 2021 IHF Men's Handball World Championship: The 2021 IHF Men's World Championship will be played in 4 halls in 4 stadiums in the governorates of Cairo, Giza and Alexandria and the New Capital.
I- Cairo International Stadium Sports Hall, which was established in 1991, with a capacity of 17,000 spectators. It is the main hall in the Championship, which will host the opening match between Egypt and Chile as well as the final match. Also, during the preliminary round, the hall will host the matches of fourth and the seventh groups.

II- The New Capital Indoor Sports Hall, which was established in 2020 as part of the integrated Sports City in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, which is 60 km from Cairo, with a capacity of 7,500 spectators. During the preliminary round, the hall will host the matches of the second and sixth groups. 

III- The 6th of October Indoor Sports Hall, which was established in 2020 with a capacity of 5200 spectators. The hall is only 36 km (22 miles) away from downtown Cairo, and is part of the historic Giza Governorate, home to the famed Great Pyramids of Giza. During the preliminary round, the hall will host the matches of the first and fifth groups. 

IV- Borg Al Arab Indoor Sports Hall, which was established in 2020 with a capacity of 4,500 spectators. The hall is 200 km (125 miles) from downtown Cairo. During the preliminary round, the hall will host the matches of the third and eighth groups

Match Scheme 
For the first time in history, 32 teams have been qualified for the 2021 World Handball Championship. They are divided into eight groups of four teams each. The teams will play in the preliminary round during the period from 13 to 19 January.
The top three teams of their respective preliminary round groups move on to the main round (20-25 January), while the teams ranked last in their preliminary round groups play the President's Cup. The 24 main round teams are divided into four groups of six teams each. 
The top two teams of the main round groups advance to the knock-out stage, which starts with the quarter-finals on 27 January, then continues with the semi-finals on 29 January. On the final day, 31 January, the match for third place and the gold-medal match are played.

Match Schedule 
-January 13, at 7:00 pm: Egypt vs Chile 
-January 14, at 4.30 pm: Belarus vs Russia 
-January 14, at 7:00 pm: Austria vs USA
-January 14, at 7:00 pm: Algeria vs Morocco
-January 14, at 7:00 pm: Slovenia vs South Korea
-January 14, at 9:30 pm: Norway vs France
-January 14, at 9:30 pm: Portugal vs Iceland
-January 14, at 9:30 pm: Sweden vs Czech Republic
-January 15, at 4:30 pm: Qatar vs Angola
-January 15, at 7:00 pm: Croatia vs Japan
-January 15, at 7:00 pm: Germany vs Uruguay
-January 15, at 7:00 pm: Spain vs Brazil
-January 15, at 7:00 pm: Argentina vs DR Congo
-January 15, at 9:30 pm: Hungary vs Cape Verde Islands
-January 15, at 9:30 pm: Tunisia vs Poland
-January 15, at 9:30 pm: Denmark vs Bahrain  
-January 16, at 4:30 pm: Belarus vs South Korea
-January 16, at 7:00 pm: Austria vs France
-January 16, at 7:00 pm: Morocco vs Portugal
-January 16, at 7:00 pm: Egypt vs Czech Republic
-January 16, at 7:00 pm: Russia vs Slovenia
-January 16, at 9:30 pm: USA vs Norway
-January 16, at 9:30 pm: Algeria vs Iceland
-January 16, at 9:30 pm: Chile vs Sweden  
-January 17, at 4:30 pm: Qatar vs Japan
-January 17, at 7:00 pm: Cape Verde Islands vs Germany
-January 17, at 7:00 pm: Tunisia vs Brazil
-January 17, at 7:00 pm: Angola vs Croatia
-January 17, at 7:00 pm: Argentina vs Bahrain
-January 17, at 9:30 pm: Hungary vs Uruguay
-January 17, at 9:30 pm: Poland vs Spain
-January 17, at 9:30 pm: DR Congo vs Denmark  
-January 18, at 4.30 pm: Czech Republic vs Chile
-January 18, at 4:30 pm: South Korea vs Russia
-January 18, at 7:00 pm: France vs Austria
-January 18, at 7:00 pm: Portugal vs Algeria
-January 18, at 7:00 pm: Sweden vs Egypt
-January 18, at 7:00 pm: Slovenia vs Belarus
-January 18, at 9:30 pm: Norway vs Austria
-January 18, at 9:30 pm: Iceland vs Morocco  
-January 19, at 4:30 pm: Japan vs Angola
-January 19, at 7:00 pm: Uruguay vs Cape Verde Islands
-January 19, at 7:00 pm: Spain vs Tunisia
-January 19, at 7:00 pm: Croatia vs Qatar
-January 19, at 7:00 pm: Bahrain vs DR Congo
-January 19, at 9:30 pm: Germany vs Hungary
-January 19, at 9:30 pm: Brazil vs Poland
-January 19, at 9:30 pm: Denmark vs Argentina 
-January 20-25: main round 
-January 27, at 6:30 pm: quarter-finals, 1st of Group II vs 2nd of Group IV
-January 27, at 9:30 pm: quarter-finals, 1st of Group IV vs 2nd of Group II
-January 27, at 9:30 pm: quarter-finals, 1st of Group I vs 2nd of Group III
-January 27, at 9:30 pm: quarter-finals, 1st of Group III vs 2nd of Group I 
-January 29, at 6:30 pm: Semi-final, Winner of 1st quarter-final vs Winner of 2nd quarter-final
-January 29, at 9:30 pm: Semi-final, Winner of 3rd quarter-final vs Winner of 4th quarter-final 
-January 31, at 3:30 pm: Play for 3rd place
-January 31, at 6.30 pm: Final 

Group A: Germany, Hungary, Uruguay, Cape Cape Verde 
Group B: Spain, Tunisia, Brazil, Poland  
Group C: Croatia, Qatar, Japan, Angola  
Group D: Denmark, Argentina, Bahrain, DR Congo  
Group E: Norway, Austria, France, NCAHC  
Group F: Portugal, Algeria, Iceland, Morocco  
Group G: Sweden, Egypt, Czech Republic, SCAHC
Group H: Slovenia, Belarus, South Korea, Russia

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)

1. Providing the stadiums, in which the tournament will be held, with the necessary equipment, technical requirements, communication and information technology services, in line with international standards.

2. Providing the necessary technology to host the tournament.

3. Reviewing all engineering arrangements to prepare communication networks for the new halls that are being built in accordance with the international standards of the International Federation.

4. Reviewing all the needs of the International Handball Federation and the Organizing Committee regarding devices, equipment, internet equipment, and communications infrastructure.

5. Equipping the stadiums with the latest global technologies, equipping press centers with computers, laptops, internet networks, and all logistical supplies including modern printers, copiers and screens with virtual display activities.

6. Providing wireless units distributed to the four halls equipped with a Wi-Fi network, in addition to providing Wi-Fi devices to provide internet services through 4G networks.

The Ministry of Health
The Ministry's plan is based on four axes:

1. Assessing risks: The Medical Commission will establish continuous monitoring and risk evaluation of the COVID-19 transmission level in all participating teams’ countries, apply routine quarantine procedures to all attendees and raise the level of precautionary measures. In addition, upon arrival, every stakeholder involved in the World Championship is required to undergo a rapid COVID-19 antigen test at the airport. Furthermore, on the arrival day, every stakeholder involved in the World Championship shall perform a PCR test at the hotel. These include regular PCR tests within every 72 hours.

2. Raising awareness: The Ministry of Health will carry out a number of activities to raise awareness by providing training materials and preventive guidance to all participants in the tournament, training all medical teams on the mechanisms of suspecting cases and reporting them, identifying points of contact in each hotel and for each team separately.  In this regard, the Ministry will, also, provide the scientific material in a way suitable for display on the visual advertisement screens, and train all work crews in hotels and stadiums as well as the administrative bodies participating in the tournament on precautionary measures, in addition to training the workers on safe waste removal, in the same way hazardous waste is handled. 

3. Applying precautionary measures: It includes fixing the work force that has direct contact with the sports missions in every hotel or stadium hosting any of the teams until its departure, as well as fixing the employment of all kinds in the form of fixed packages for each team during the whole period of the championship and thus limited to specific people, which limits the spread of infection and facilitates the follow-up process for contacts.

4. Applying the rules of physical distancing: Stadiums are divided into zones; each zone is coded by a different color and has specific preventive measures, and the individuals within each color zone are obligated to limit their movement within the area specified for them and to abide by the maximum number allowed. The rules of physical distancing, also, include not being crowded whether during training times or when attending official matches, in addition to maintaining safe distance at meetings, and in dining rooms, restrooms and residence rooms, and ensuring that the occupancy rate must not exceed than 25% to 50% of the capacity of theses arenas.  In terms of transportation, it is recommended to avoid crowding in buses, where the drivers and passengers should always wear a face mask and respect all hygiene guidelines. Also, the drivers and stakeholders must maintain a distance of 1.5m at all times (chessboard seating arrangement). If the buses have entrances in the centre or rear, these doors should be used, so that passengers can enter and exit, and keep sufficient distance to the driver. Every stakeholder must go through body temperature screening before boarding. All vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after every trip during the World Championship. Furthermore, different routes are provided to enter and exit halls and stadiums, besides ensuring good ventilation of all arenas, however open areas are preferred when available as a safe alternative. The procedures, also, include ensuring that all stakeholders participating in the World Championship must wear face masks in all closed premises (accommodation, training halls and arenas, means of transportation, etc.) at all times. Also, using disposable eating and drinking equipment is strongly recommended. Teams must bring their own towels, use their personal items and not share them with other persons. In addition, the Medical Commission will ensure that all surfaces throughout the premises are periodically cleaned and disinfected, provide all transmission control supplies and disinfectants, and warn about the importance of providing hand sanitizer in the various places where members of sports missions (hotels - restaurants - stadiums - buses - meeting rooms) are present at all times, and ensuring that effective and efficient disposable personal protective equipment such as masks, alcohol disinfectants and disposable gloves will be made available for all participants.

5. Activating the preventive crisis room to work 24/7 to receive reports first-hand from the governorates hosting the tournament.

6. Assigning a rapid response team in the event venues to deal immediately with suspected cases, and follow-up on people who contacted positive cases, ensuring the availability of appropriate isolation rooms in accommodation hotels, training and stadiums, and apply all infection control measures to them.

7. Implementing the electronic symptom surveillance system to activate the precautionary measures immediately, and when simple symptoms appear on one of the participants, the case is medically evaluated and a swab is made to conduct a PCR test, then the patient is isolated in his room at the hotel or in the isolation room designated for that, and the Ministry of Health and Population will be notified for coordination, and to follow up the contacts.

Other Services:

Everyone involved in the event on-site, including, all companies and their staff members, must comply with the applicable local and national law as well as the requirements of the present COVID-19 Medical Precaution Plan. These include regular PCR tests within every 72 hours (testing schedule to be fixed by IHF), a mandatory wearing of masks, keeping a safe distance and regular washing of hands. All broadcast professionals comply with state or local requirements such as the use of Plexiglass in the workplace.

2. Inform everyone working in the match hall of all requirements and prohibitions in sufficient time before the start of the match, and the medical team of the hall will ensure that all procedures are respected.

3. Reducing the number of media representatives and broadcasting staff members to the minimum depending on the capacity of the arena, and providing medical services for media representatives in the arenas.

4. The number of on-site staff members depends on: The applicable Egyptian law;  the working spaces available with appropriate hygiene measures, and the total number of people permitted in the zones in coordination with chapter 9.3 of ‘COVID-19 Medical Precaution Plan’.

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