The International Handball Federation awarded a wildcard to the hosting nation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Japan, to be part of the 2019 Men’s Handball World Championship in Denmark and Germany.
The Japanese team, coached by Icelandic born former German national team Dagur Sigurdsson, missed the direct qualification via the Asian Championship in Korea in January 2018.
The IHF awards wild cards for World Championships, if no team from Oceania qualifies via the Asian Championships (fifth place or better).
Due to the IHF Council decision, five Asian teams will be part of the first ever Men’s Handball World Championship, jointly hosted by two nations: Continental champions Qatar, as well as Bahrain, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan. In total, 12 of 24 participants are confirmed so far: besides hosts Germany and Denmark, the defending World Champions France, the European champions Spain and the three African participants Tunisia, Egypt and Angola.
The remaining 12 spots will be decided in the Pan American Championships in Greenland (3) and the European Playoffs (9), both carried out in the middle of June.
The World Championship will be staged from 10 to 27 January 2019.