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USA to play at World Championship 2021

In accordance with Article 2.8 of the Regulations for IHF Competitions, the IHF Council nominated the United States of America to represent the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation (NACHC) at the 2021 IHF Men’s World Championship set to take place in Egypt from 13 to 31 January.

Difficulties to organise a qualification tournament caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to NACHC President Mario A. Garcia de la Torre requesting a nomination from the IHF.

“At this moment, since the final week contemplated to organize the aforementioned tournament (November 2- November 9) is almost here […] there are no real options to continue searching for a solution, on time; under this unexpected conditions, I hereby, kindly, ask you to present this problematic to the IHF Council for its appraisal, and if possible, to exceptionally designate a representative of our geographical region in order to fill the sole compulsory place assigned to our continental confederation for the next Senior Men World Championship,” said Garcia de la Torre in a letter to the IHF.

Some of the main considerations for the nomination of the USA, based on the recommendations of IHF advisor for the New Markets’ Project USA, Mr Jean Brihault, were:

  • USA are a very important handball nation for the worldwide handball development;
  • In view of the size of the population, a specific strategy was developed to accelerate the progress of handball in USA, aiming to grow the IHF’s TV audience worldwide and increase the social network impact of handball, which will help to maintain the status of handball in the Olympic system and ensure the future of handball at the Olympic Games;
  • The former Pan American continent was split in order to increase the number of handball activities and offer the countries in NACHC better chances to reach IHF major events. A special focus was placed from the very beginning on the USA being a major market. 
  • Major TV broadcasters in the USA recently increased their activity to show handball matches from all over the world. Several agreements for different competitions were made with various stakeholders;
  • As Los Angeles, USA is hosting the 2028 Olympic Games, having strong host teams should be an overall target;
  • From those teams that have registered for the planned qualification event and showed interest in playing the qualification (Canada, Greenland, Puerto Rico, USA), USA are the best-ranked team at the last official competition, namely the 2019 Pan American Games.

Egypt 2021 will be the USA’s 7th IHF Men’s World Championship appearance and the first since 2001. The USA will join Norway, Austria and France in Group E.

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