The International Handball Federation (IHF) Men's Handball World Championship will now be held without spectators due to the threat of spreading COVID-19.

Iran Press/Europe: Only media members and embassy representatives of participating teams will be allowed to attend matches in Egypt, following talks between the IHF and the Egyptian Government.

IHF President Hassan Moustafa met with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to discuss tightening restrictions.

Hala Zayed, the Egyptian Minister of Health and Population, and Ashraf Sobhy, the Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports, were also in attendance.

All four considered the current COVID-19 situation, as well as the concerns raised by players, before deciding it would be best to proceed without spectators being allowed at the IHF's flagship event.

The European Handball Players Union had raised concerns over previous plans to allow venues to be up to 20 percent full in a letter sent to Moustafa last week.

"All parties came to the agreement that the 27th IHF Men's World Championship shall be held without spectators in order to keep the stakeholders involved in the event safe and healthy," the IHF said.

The 27th edition of the IHF Men’s World Championship – the first IHF World Championship to be played with 32 teams – will take place in Egypt from 13 to 31 January 2021 at four venues: Cairo Stadium Sports Hall, New Capital Sports Hall, Dr Hassan Moustafa Sports Hall (formerly 6th of October) and Borg Al Arab Sports Hall. The IHF men’s flagship event will feature 108 games, with the final weekend taking place in Cairo.

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