By Farrokh Hesabi

Iran completely ready to host Asian Men’s Junior Handball C’ship: president

December 30, 2020 - 19:35

TEHRAN - President of Iran Handball Federation Alireza Pakdel says that the country is completely ready to host the 2020 Asian Men’s Junior Handball Championship.

The tournament will be held from 20 to 29 March 2021 in the southern city of Shiraz, Fars province.

During recent days there have been reports that the Asian Handball Federation (AHF) has decided to change the host of the competition to lower coronavirus risks.

According to the local media, the AHF had sent a letter to the Iranian handball federation about removing Iran's hosting rights. However, according to reports, the immediate response by Pakdel, and the head of Iran National Olympics Committee (NOC), Reza Salehi Amiri, has made the AHF to reverse its decision for a while.

In an exclusive interview with Tehran Times, Pakdel talked about the situation and confirmed that nothing has been decided yet about changing the competition’s host country.

“There was a letter in which the AHF had expressed its concerns about the increasing outbreak of coronavirus in Iran and said some participating countries are worried about traveling to Iran. In response, we presented our explanations to Iran’s NOC and the Ministry of Sports and then to the Asian Handball Federation,” Pakdel said.

The junior event, for under-20 players, was primarily scheduled for Shiraz in Iran from July 10 to 21 but it was rescheduled for October 3 to 13. In March 2020, the AHF decided to postpone the championship again due to COVID 19 pandemic. So, it will be held from March 20 to 29, 2021.

Pakdel added that Iran would not give up its right to host the competition.

“We will try our best to keep the hosting rights of the tournament that we have organized to hold in Shiraz in the best way possible. Of course, we understand the AHF's concerns, and we know that there are special standards and criteria set by the AHF that should be met by a host country.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has complicated the situation in all areas, including sports competitions. However, we are completely ready to host the game. Iran’ Ministry of Health and Medical Education has perfectly cooperated with us and has promised that this cooperation will continue in the best way possible during the competition as well,” he stated.

The 2020 Asian Men's Junior Handball Championship will be the 17th edition of the championship. It also acts as the qualification tournament for the 2021 Men's Junior World Handball Championship. The top four teams from the championship will qualify for the Junior World Championship to be held in Hungary.

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