Pandemic coronavirus causes a more significant impact on the sports field. In different parts of the world, more and more tournaments and competitions are transferred at a later date or canceled altogether. Especially difficult in these conditions have the federations of team sports. Because of the large simultaneous number of participants on the court (field, ice rink, etc.), close contact between players in most team sports, and a considerable number of additional participants of the match (referees, coaches, doctors and other individuals), the reopening of competition among iglovikov carries the most questions. Various federations in the circumstances, behave differently. Some say they will play at the first opportunity, while others are reinsured did cancel the competition.
In late April, the European Handball Federation (EHF) has taken several crucial decisions, which at first glance look fine but on closer analysis raises a number of questions.
On the club level of NGF was canceled four European Cup tournament (the EHF Cup and Challenge Cup for men and the same tournaments in women). The Champions League bosses of the European handball “under the knife” was not allowed, but in the men’s competition left only the Final four, which is scheduled for the end of December of the current year. It will involve the top two teams from groups A and b (“Barcelona”, “Kiel”, “PSG” and “Veszprem”). The 1/8 and 1/4 finals cancelled. Thus, for all the teams that came out of groups of lower than second season in the Champions League completed.
The solution is quite controversial and many players, coaches and functionaries expressed the bewilderment about it. Logically, that was most indignant handball shapes that are related to flying teams. Blame the NGF raised potiranie the principles of sport and pruning the large number of teams from among the applicants for the victory in the Champions League in the rooms, not on the grounds. For example, the French coach of Montpellier Patrice Kanye said that time has already appointed the Final four at the end of December, up to that time it was quite possible to hold the 1/8 and 1/4 finals, even in the format of a single match. By the way, in the women’s Champions League Final four under reserved beginning of September with pre-1/4 final stage in the format of one match a day earlier or mid October (if September play will fail), but without conducting the quarterfinal matches.
But for the Ukrainian handball the most important was the decision to cancel the final qualifying matches of the world Cup 2021 men and of the 2020 European championship among women and the list of participants in these top tournaments based on the ranking of teams. If in decisions regarding club competition logic can be found because of the severe shortage of available dates in the calendar and the circumcision calendar teams caused a lot of issues.
World Cup 2021 will take place in Egypt from 14 to 31 January 2021. For Europe in the tournament reserved 13 seats + Denmark as the winner of the last tournament. Ten of them was supposed to be played in dvuhraundovom of qualifying, which was scheduled for April (1st round, 8 teams, 4 pairs according to the scheme “home-away”) and June (2nd round, 20 teams, 10 pairs according to the scheme “home-away”). It is logical that these deadlines to qualify unrealistic, but why does it cancel? The tournament will be 10 teams with the highest rating. But then where’s the sport principle? It is a vicious circle: the world Cup took away, but how to increase it, if you don’t pass on this tournament?
Given that the Final four women’s Champions League, and even in addition to a one-game ban by the quarter-finals of the EHF officials plan to play in the first week of September, so according to them, the fall play will be. Then the options to play qualifying matches for the men’s world Cup has a lot. Of the 24 teams participating in the qualification 20 will play only two (!!) of the match and only four of them (the winners of the first round of qualifying) will hold four matches. Just two games. To conduct them, would be enough for one week (according to the traditional scheme Wednesday-Saturday), which could be in any part of the coming fall. You can reformat the duel format consisting of one battle. And how do you like the idea of playing a qualification in Egypt before the start of the world championship? In General, there would be a desire, and to come up with a option.
In fairness, we note that the Ukrainian team had little chance to pass Germany in qualifying, but the team behind the tournament we have a lot of strong European teams, such as North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia. What to say if in the Balkans, where it is very much like handball, have heard a lot of criticism about this decision, even from those countries that qualify for the tournament.
In women the situation is more complicated. Their major planned for the period from 3 to 20 December 2020, and in the seven qualifying groups, each team played only two of the six scheduled fights. But there are options. The most logical of them says, why all the remaining eight games in each group to spend four or five days in a host city selected in the countries participating in the private group tournaments or even on neutral territory. It would have extended the handball season for one week, albeit with fees of national teams of two. In the form of compensation could safely move one or two rounds of the women’s League of Champions (and generally one or two weeks the European handball) next year.
Of course, the situation can turn around in such a way that in the autumn and will all the activities of coronavirus and the mere holding of world and European Championships will be a success. But at the moment such decisions are seen very hasty. Rating rating, but to deprive countries of the opportunity to get on top tournament one Cabinet solution, even taken under the pressure of very difficult circumstances, obviously not the best solution