Based on the recommendation of the IHF COVID-19 Medical Task Force, the IHF Council has decided to increase the number of players allowed per team at the 27th IHF Men’s World Championship to be held in Egypt in January 2021.
For Egypt 2021, each team will be allowed 20 players instead of 18 on the definitive list, with the standard 16 still on the match report.
The measure is designed to provide teams a wider pool of players and to have more alternate players in case of any health issue that might occur. Additionally, the provision aims to avoid player injuries resulting from the reduced amount of training and matches due to the pandemic.
The decision was made by the IHF Council in a meeting on 18 September and applies only for the 27th IHF Men’s World Championship. The costs for the four additional players per team are to be covered by the IHF.
In addition, the regulation for a maximum number of replacements, previously at three for each team competing at an IHF World Championship, will not apply in any cases of COVID-19. This is to ensure no team is forced to make unsafe decisions in the event of a positive test and that players can be more easily replaced.
The IHF COVID-19 Medical Task Force was formed in July 2020, with a special view towards management of the Egypt 2021 World Championship and the Olympic Games, including the handball qualification events, also scheduled to take place next year.