Will it be an “Omicron EM”? National player Wiencek in action
Two countries, two different visitor concepts: The German handball team is happy to be playing at the European Championships in Bratislava and not in Budapest. There is the irritating full utilization of the halls.
Dhe emergency plans were in the drawer at the European Handball Federation. If there was no political support in Slovakia, alternative Hungarian arenas would be available – in Györ and Tatabanya. Modern halls that would have been the sites of the European Championship in 2022, next to Budapest, Debrecen and Szeged. This discussion boiled up at the end of December. The Slovak politicians have meanwhile guaranteed their help, and the planned two-country EM will take place – with different omens. When the EHF awarded the 15th “Euro” to Hungary and Slovakia in June 2018, the pandemic was something for science fiction authors. The neighboring countries were happy to have outperformed the strong applicants Spain and France.
But while Budapest and Debrecen are preparing for the big handball party, the Slovak organizers are groaning under the burden of regulations and restrictions. Slovakia had entered a two-week lockdown at the end of November because of the highest incidence in Europe. “We had to bury almost all events, projects and actions that we wanted to do in connection with Euro 2022 with a heavy heart,” said Martin Simonides from the Slovak handball association to the magazine “Handball Inside”.