With the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship final taking place, on Sunday, the curtain falls on one of the most important sporting events to take place since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a Scandinavian clash, current title defenders Denmark will face Sweden at the Cairo International Stadium.
The match for third place, between France and Spain, will take place on Sunday also before the final, at the same venue.
The championship is considered the most difficult given the challenges that Egypt has faced since it was announced they would be organising the event.
The country has done its best to ensure the best tournament possible, with Egypt seeking to deliver a message to the world that it is capable of holding major international tournaments, despite a global pandemic.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi had an influential role in the tournament’s organisation, and gave instructions to all ministers to overcome any obstacles. He also agreed to establish three new halls for the event, which were completed in record time. The world-class facilities ensured that handball fans could look forward to a world-class event.
Egypt succeeded in establishing a hall in the Borg El-Arab area of Alexandria, as well as in 6th of October City and at the New Administrative Capital (NAC). Much work was carried out to develop and modernise the Cairo International Stadium, which has long been a venue for international and important sporting events in Egypt.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly will lead a high-level party of ministers in attending the final of the 2021 World Men’s Handball Championship final. At the head of the ministerial delegation will be Minister of Youth and Sports, Ashraf Sobhy, who has been closely monitoring every detail throughout the championship.
Sobhy’s attention in this regard has been to ensure that the event took place in a way that reflects Egypt’s ability to host the biggest international events at any time.
Also in attendance in the final will be: Hassan Mustafa, President of the International Hand Federation (IHF); Hisham Nasr, President of the Egyptian Handball Federation (EHF) and Chairperson of the Organizing Committee; in addition to Hussein Labib, Director of the championship.
The result of the Sweden – Denmark clash is difficult to predict, given the two teams’ high playing standards, particularly since the start of the World Championship.
Sunday’s match is expected to be the focus of much attention, and millions of TV viewers are expected to watch the event due to the international popularity of handball.
Denmark has qualified for the final for the second time in a row, after beating Spain 35-33 in the semi-finals. Their hunger for the title has ensured that the Danish team qualifies for their fifth final, and the fourth in the last six editions held.
The team had previously won the world championship title only once, at the last World Championship in 2019, while it won the runner-up title in 1967, 2011, and 2013.
The Swedish national team reached the final of the 2001 world championship, when they played against France. The team previously won the title in the 1999 championship, which had also been held in Egypt, in which the Swedes played against Russia. Sweden has previously won four titles, making them the second most crowned country after six-championships France.
Coach Glenn Solberg expressed his pride in the performance of his players during this year’s tournament, and the fact that they have qualified for the final after an absence of 20 years.
The team last qualified for the World Championship final in 2001, after beating France 32-26 in the semi-final.
“We had a great game and gave a perfect performance in the semi-finals. I’m happy with the wonderful performance by our defence,” Solberg said, “The quick attack was the best, in addition to the brilliance of our goalkeeper.”
He added, “I am proud of the performance of the players in that championship, and I’m waiting for the final. I hope that we will continue like that, this time in the final.”
Sweden’s Daniel Petterrson said, “The accuracy of our exploitation of the opportunities was great, in addition to the brilliance of our great goalkeeper as usual. We hope to keep that performance and win the title we haven’t been able to win since 1999.”