The handball World Cup “2021 World Men’s Handball Championship” kicked off in Egypt on Wednesday, amid unprecedented precautionary measures to preserve the teams participating in the World Cup in light of the outbreak of the Corona virus.
The opening ceremony of the tournament began with the presence of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who announced the start of the tournament in its twenty-seventh edition.
Egypt defeated Chile in the opening match of the tournament, with a score of 35-29.
The tournament will be held without an audience as a precaution to reduce Corona injuries, and it will run from January 13 to the 31 of the same month.
The matches were to be held naturally in the presence of an audience, and the door to book tickets has already been opened through the dedicated online portal.
But it was decided to organize the tournament and hold matches without an audience, days before the start of the tournament, in order to ensure the safety of the participating teams and technical equipment, and the safety of the fans as well.
The concerned state agencies in Egypt confirm that all measures are taken to preserve the participating teams and ensure the success of the tournament.
The matches will be held in four gyms in Egypt, which are the Cairo International Stadium Hall, the New Administrative Capital Hall, the Sixth of October City Hall near Cairo, and the Burj Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria.
Egypt is the first African country to host this World Cup, and the second non-European country to organize the competition after Japan, which organized it in 1997.
Participating Arab countries
Six Arab countries will participate in the tournament, which are Egypt, Qatar, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Bahrain.
Until the last version of the competition, the number of countries participating in the tournament was only 24 teams, which increased to 32 in the current version of the tournament.
Egypt reached the golden square in the World Handball Cup in France in 2001, as the first non-European country to achieve this achievement, and ranked fourth in the world in that competition.
Tunisia joined Egypt to enter the semi-finals in the 2005 World Handball Championship in Tunisia, which makes it the second non-European country to achieve this achievement.
Qatar also entered the golden box, ranking second in the world, in the 2015 World Cup, which was organized by Doha, after its defeat in the final by France, which won the title.