World Championship Without Limits: Handball is already making Gianni Infantino’s dream come true

Unlimited World Championship
Handball is already fulfilling Gianni Infantino’s dream

Till Erdenberger, Katowice

The World Handball Championship is a mega occasion: 112 video games shall be performed over two weeks. It’s about cash and making new associates and highly effective allies. Because the world group is like grasping FIFA.

Do you bear in mind the World Cup in Qatar? Argentina was topped world champion on December 18 final yr after the most effective closing within the historical past of the World Cup. The German nationwide workforce left the preliminary spherical with disgrace and shame. The German stars had been on vacation for 2 weeks when Lionel Messi turned the king of the soccer world.

In handball, this is unimaginable: nobody is eradicated, nobody goes residence early. As 24 groups certified for the primary stage after the preliminary stage, the eight groups that didn’t qualify for it can qualify for the President’s Cup. It’s a form of comfort spherical the place all of the little ones within the handball world come collectively and play the most effective of the remaining.

Poland and Sweden will host the World Cup for the second time, with 32 groups in comparison with the earlier 24. The 2021 format celebrated its premiere in Egypt, the house of the highly effective world affiliation president Hassan Mustafa. Since then, 32 positions have been performed in 112 video games. Four days earlier than the crowning of the brand new world champion, it is recognized who will come final.

“Forever not purely European”

Handball is a European sport, the continent has offered all of the earlier world champions. And perhaps those which might be coming. Only as soon as has a non-European workforce reached the finals: Qatar at their residence World Cup in 2015 – with a workforce of European professionals who had been cheated out of huge cash and allowed to play for Qatar because of the world group’s lax guidelines.

And this is the issue: “If you need to be protected within the Olympics in the long run, handball should not stay a European problem eternally,” explains Bob Hanning, DHB, the biggest handball affiliation. world. Mustafa is aware of this, and the Egyptian additionally is aware of that there is extra money to be made as his sport turns into extra international, having traditionally needed to reside within the deep shadow of huge soccer even in the primary European market.

It is mentioned that Mustafa, whom they name “Pharaoh”, not solely due to his origin, but additionally guidelines his group in probably the most autocratic method. The 78-year-old has survived many scandals unscathed and handles main contracts himself. In the interval from 2019 to 2025, the IHF bought the rights to the world championships and minor tournaments to marketer Lagadère Sports for greater than 160 million euros. This is the biggest advertising contract the IHF has ever secured. People additionally wish to earn cash from handball.

Although the sporting high quality of the tournaments has declined: Sweden beat Uruguay 47-12 within the group stage, Germany left winger Rune Damke informed ntv.de that “it is good that yow will discover your manner” on the World Cup. When you face an opponent in a event, you undoubtedly have the higher hand.” No compliments for the regime. “There aren’t any good 32 groups. There are too many variations between good and unhealthy groups,” defined Croatia’s Luka Cindric. According to Norwegian star Sander Sagosen, it is good that many international locations are taking part on the earth of handball. The cup was allowed, however the THW Kiel professional additionally warned towards too many one-sided preliminary spherical video games.

“They’re higher off than not.”

But it is essential to create a foyer appointed by the world handball affiliation. It’s about cash and associates, the game needs to be a world sport and ought to be a world sport with highly effective allies within the Middle East or the massive sports activities market within the US. The U.S. Olympic Games shall be held in 2028, earlier than which the nationwide workforce should acquire worldwide expertise to have the ability to encourage its compatriots at residence. Mustafa promised in 2018 that “the USA and their groups will obtain a wild card for the 2025 and 2027 World Cups if they don’t qualify.” At the present World Cup, the USA Men’s Handball workforce celebrated their first World Handball victory towards Morocco – after dropping 25 of their earlier matches.

28:27 is sufficient to advance to the intermediate spherical. There are three defeats, most notably American skilled Paul Skoruba biting his opponent. But one win secured three extra video games within the prime flight. “I consider it can carry somewhat little bit of consideration to a really troubled America,” says Bob Hanning. “It helps greater than should you did not take part in any respect.” There is a rustic that certified for the World Cup for the primary time in 2021 because of the massive variety of individuals in the primary spherical with the Cape Verde Islands, after which needed to withdraw once more after the corona epidemic earlier than the second spherical. recreation towards two-time world champions Germany. It was not potential to order sufficient wholesome gamers to journey to Egypt in time.

A totally globalized sport with limitless video games and even the smallest group can nonetheless have a couple of minutes within the highlight – this is the dream of FIFA – the world soccer affiliation will come true from 2026: For the primary time there shall be even 48 groups. The world champion will play, up to now 16 teams of three groups every have been scheduled, the final one has been eradicated. A mammoth program that can’t be dealt with logistically by only one nation: Canada, the United States and Mexico shall be performed in 2026.

The development brings FIFA billions

The improve was ordered by FIFA in early 2017, shortly earlier than the IHF. The large European federations will not be too keen on the thought, however many smaller federations are very grateful to their senior presidents for the chance to compete within the World Cup. Thanks to Infantino’s election as FIFA president in 2016.

They haven’t got to fret about Olympic standing in soccer, it would not matter in a multi-billion greenback enterprise. Unlike handball and plenty of small and micro associations, soccer doesn’t want an Olympic stage. FIFA likes to earn money for this. Seven billion {dollars} in income is anticipated for the World Cup in Qatar, and the world group has promised to earn eleven billion {dollars} in 2018 with the organizers of the subsequent event, Canada, USA and Mexico. More video games imply extra money. If one particular person follows the mode with teams of 4 – now launched by Infantino – the variety of video games will increase from 80 to 104. More cash than that.

Handball gamers can solely dream of such an quantity. 600 individuals watched Chile beat Saudi Arabia within the President’s Cup at Orlen Arena in Plock. But it is also about giving previous and new associates exterior of Europe a way of being a part of the handball world. In the tip, the final workforce wins not less than one recreation.

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