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Switzerland to replace covid-19-struck USA in handball World Cup

The US handball national team was forced to withdraw from participation in the competition due to covid-19 outbreak among its squad.

FILE PHOTO: An Egyptian employee wearing a protective face mask works on the New Capital Stadium that will host the IHF Handball World Championship in January 2021 in the New Administrative Capital (NAC), east of Cairo, amid concerns about the spread of t

The International Handball Federation (IHF) announced the withdrawal of the USA handball national team from the 2021 Egypt World Cup tournament that kicks off on Wednesday following a covid-19 outbreak among its players. They are to be replaced with the Swiss national team as per the tournament's covid-19 regulations set by the federation.

Hours before their departure to Egypt, the USA squad received a massive blow when they discovered that 18 players and the team's head coach had contracted covid-19 and were unable to travel. The team's head coach Robert Hedin had earlier announced they would send 12 players to Egypt on Wednesday, a day ahead of their group stage opening game before the federation announced the team's withdrawal.

"According to the covid-19-Related Regulations for the 2021 IHF Men’s World Championship in Egypt, article A. Non-appearance/Non-participation, the second substitute nation – Switzerland – has been invited to participate.  

"The list of substitute nations was created in accordance with the performance criteria of the qualification event of the continent of the reigning world champion, which is Europe" said a statement on the IHF's official website.

Switzerland will be competing in Group E with Austria, Norway, and France.

Czech announces its withdrawal to be replaced by North Macedonia

USA became the second nation to withdraw from participation in the 27th IHF Men’s World Championship after the Czech Republic team experienced a similar situation.

The Czech national team faced a similar issue before leaving for Egypt as many players of their squad have also contracted the infection leading the team to announce its withdrawal from the tournament to be replaced with North Macedonia.

The International Handball Federation announced the news on its official website noting that as per the newly-issued covid-19 regulations, North Macedonia national teams will be replacing the Czech team in the seventh group that comprises Egypt, Sweden, and Chile.


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