🤾♂️🌐🏆🇪🇬 The IHF Handball world cup for 2021 takes place in Egypt between 13th and 31st of January amidst the current pandemic, but it’s proving to be a great event even without any audience and with the introduction of the “bubble” strategy for mitigating the contagion. All international teams from different continents are competing in Egypt for winning the highest trophy awarded in international handball: the world championship. The competition takes place every 2 years, and this year it is hosted in 4 Egyptian cities: Cairo, Alexandria (Borg El Arab Mediterranean City) , 6th of October City, and the new administrative capital of Egypt. This is the first time the competition includes 32 teams from all over the world instead of 24. It is the biggest ever Handball World Championship to date. The main trophy will be a golden hand designed after no one other than the legendary Egyptian handballer El Sayed.
📸 Snapshots from the Tournament
🏟️ Stadiums Construction and Preparation
🎉 The Opening Ceremony and Event
The opening ceremony and event was attended by the Egyptian president, the president of the IHF Dr Hassan Mostafa from Egypt, and many officials from the Egyptian government and the IHF delegations. The official song of the competition “Raise your hands” was performed by Egyptian superstar Tamer Hosny, Egyptian rapper Marwan Moussa, and Egyptian vocalist Hoda El-Sherbini.
🎤 The Song
🎶 The Official Song performed by Egyptian artists from all over Egypt
🌞 #ThisIsEgypt Experience Egypt during the Handball World Competition
🦅 The official mascot: Horus
Presentation video of the official mascot “Horus” for the IHF Men’s World Championship 2021 taking place in Egypt between January 13th-31st, 2021. Horus takes off around the skies of Egypt, zooms past the Pyramids of Giza, arrives at the New Capital stadium for the competition, then scores a goal! Horus is a legendary Egyptian Pharaonic hero, symbol of justice and good virtue, and protector of the skies. Also known for the famous “Eye of Horus” symbol for protection.
🎆 The Mascot: HORUS at the draw in Egypt, September 2020
The Mascot of the competition, Handball HORUS, performs a Pharaonic dance in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt during the official draw before the compeition. A lot of celebrations with international spectators, while keeping safety precautions due to the pandemic.
🎆 The Draw in September 2020 at the Pyramids
🎹 Egyptian Composer Omar Khairat and his Orchestra — musical concert at the event
Some nice and spirtual traditional Egyptian music with the presence of the Egyptian prime minister, minister for youth and sports affairs, and all invitees from the International Handball Federation and international organisations.
🇪🇬 Pre-competition Interview with the Egyptian Team’s Captain: Ahmed El-Ahmar
Interview with Egypt’s captain from the Zamalek team of Cairo and now playing on-loan for the German team SG Flensburg-Handewitt, with English subtitles.
✈️ First team to arrive to Egypt in early January at Cairo Airport: Japan Handball National Team
👨⚕️ Pandemic precautions: “The Bubble”
As this is the first major global sports championship since the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt created special pandemic precautions for the tournament called “the bubble”, which proved to be a major success that will possibly set the standards for the coming major sport events like the Olympics in Tokyo. The goal is to guarantee the highest level of safety and hygiene throughout the whole tournament, while making sure everybody is medically doing well. The idea is that every team does daily PCR tests, while being served by the same employees throughout the tournament. This means they get the same hotel personnel, the same bus drivers, the same chefs at the restaurants, etc. and the participants are not allowed to see anybody outside the competition (including family and friends). This allowed the players to be more focused on the tournament as they are isolated at their hotels and don’t see family and friends outside of the matches. This did not prevent the teams from doing some tourisms though, like visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza! No spectators were allowed to attend the matches at the stadiums except the accompanying members & personnel with each team. Let’s see what the players had to say …
🏆 The Format
The new system for the expanded competition with 32 teams is explained here and in the video below.
🤾♂️ Match Highlights Example
📹 Sample post-match press conference