Women’s Handball World Cup: German President – “We gave in to the mullahs”

Women’s Handball World Cup: German President – “We gave in to the mullahs”

Handball rule change at World Cup

“We gave in to the mullahs,” says the German association president

As of: 3:09 p.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes

The German national team in the 45:22 victory in the preliminary round against the Iranian team

Source: picture alliance/dpa/Dpa

Iran also took part in the Women’s Handball World Cup. DHB President Michelmann attacks the world association, which made this possible with a rule change. He took particular exception to the dress code.

Andreas Michelmann strongly criticized the IHF’s rule change regarding the players’ clothing that was made immediately before the Women’s Handball World Cup. Only this step made it possible for Iran to take part in the tournament in Scandinavia. “The women from Iran competed almost completely covered with the exception of their faces. Who knows how dynamic and strenuous our sport is – I can’t really imagine that being appropriate,” said the President of the German Handball Association on Sunday in Herning.

Michelmann showed no understanding whatsoever for the measure that allowed Iranian women to compete in headscarves and long pants. “For me, sport has so far been characterized by the fact that there are certain rules and everyone who wants to take part in it has to adhere to these rules. I have the feeling that we gave in to the mullahs so that they could take part,” said the German association head. The 64-year-old added: “I would like there to be similar rules for their men.” The world association was asked to comment on Michelmann’s criticism.

He could understand “that the IHF wanted to find a solution so that Iranian women could take part in the World Cup with their headscarves and long trousers,” Michelmann continued. “If you saw the players’ faces shining, you could say, okay, it might be worth it,” admitted the DHB boss. But he is concerned with the general question: “Is sport able to be independent of political and religious beliefs or have certain religious beliefs now become so embedded in sport that we consider it normal.”

Handball-Boss Andreas Michelmann

Source: picture alliance/foto2press/Steffen Proessdorf

Meanwhile, Germany’s handball players finished the World Cup in sixth place after a sobering 26:30 (7:16) defeat against the Netherlands. At their last tournament appearance on Sunday in Herning, national coach Markus Gaugisch’s team delivered a disappointing performance. The best World Cup result since winning bronze 16 years ago was little consolation. The best throwers in front of around 2,000 spectators were left winger Antje Döll with seven goals and co-captain Alina Grijseels (6).

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The focus now turns to the Olympic qualification coming up in the spring. The DHB selection meets Montenegro, Slovenia and Paraguay. The top two in the tournament will win their ticket to the Summer Games in Paris. “We are full of hope that we will be there again for the first time since 2008,” said DHB sports director Axel Kromer.

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