The Swiss team will participate in the World Championship which opens this Wednesday in Egypt. It replaces the United States, which has withdrawn due to cases of Covid-19.
This 27th World Championship, the second in Egypt after 1999, was already promising to be exceptional as the first edition with 32 teams, against 24 previously. Now it takes an even more unexpected turn.
As the tournament begins this Wednesday, the United States and the Czech Republic have withdrawn due to cases of Covid-19 in their workforce, as expected in recent hours. The former are deprived of 18 players according to their coach, while the Czechs have 14 positive cases and five other absences for other health reasons.
Direct consequence: Switzerland, 16th in the last Euro and named second replacement nation for the World Cup in case of withdrawal, was called to participate. A request accepted by the Swiss Federation. His last participation in the competition dates back to 1995.
For its part, the Czech Republic gives way to North Macedonia, who will meet Sweden, Egypt and Chile in Pool G.
Switzerland replaces the United States in Group E. In the preliminary round, they will face Austria (this Thursday), Norway (Saturday) and France (Monday).
This leaves extremely limited room for maneuver for the delegation to visit Egypt, on the one hand, and to prepare.
🚨The Swiss players are not even reunited yet and still have not had any info at the moment T of how they will join Egypt and how the next days will unfold. They have to face Austria Thursday at 6 p.m. !!!!!!! #HandAction https://t.co/g1vE3IFHf4
— Thomas Ferro Villechaize (@TomVillechaize) January 12, 2021
This promises hectic hours for coach Michael Suter and his staff.