Handball players angry: “It makes no sense that we play” |...

National coach Erlingur Richardsson has the same opinion. “This is very unwise. The situation with corona is critical all over Europe, ten games have already been postponed, so I don’t understand why the entire qualifying round is not postponed, ”said the Icelandic coach.

The handball players have been together at Papendal since Monday, but there has not yet been a group training. The team awaits the results of a corona test. “That only makes the situation even more difficult. With such a poor preparation you cannot properly play an international match. There are players in the selection who have not trained for weeks and have not played any matches ”, says Richardsson, referring to the internationals who play for clubs in the closed Dutch league.

Schagen also does not understand the approach of the European handball federation EHF. “I play in the Bundesliga, I get tested twice a week and we do everything very carefully. The association now allows players to travel throughout Europe to play as many qualifying matches as possible. Chances are that players will become infected and will soon take the virus with them to their clubs. The union is acting irresponsibly. ”

Still, Schagen fears that the Dutch will have to play the game on Wednesday in the Topsport Center of Almere. “We don’t have much choice, even though this preparation is far from optimal. If we refuse, chances are we will lose the match and we don’t want that. We want to make it to the European Championship ”, says the 30-year-old Amsterdammer, who has been playing handball in Germany since 2009 and is one of the most experienced internationals. He was also there when the Dutch team made its debut in Norway in January of this year at the European Championship. “I would like to experience such a final round again, so as far as I am concerned we will go for it.”

The national coach hopes at least on Tuesday to get his players together for a training, because otherwise it will be very difficult. “Turkey would be the easiest opponent in the group on paper, but that team is not that bad. They have been together all week. The team has strong, experienced players, we do not easily win from that. It is for us to make the best of it and to focus on the game. We also play without an audience, so mentally it will be tough too. But I have been the national coach of these guys for a while and I know that they always give 100 percent. ”

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