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The Hungarian Handball Federation rejects the criticism of the French and Serbian national teams, according to which the domestic coronavirus rules would not be sufficient. The players and the coaches of the two teams were outraged mainly because of hotel guests not wearing masks, with whom they have to stay. The European Championship, which will be played in Hungarian and Slovakian venues, begins Thursday at the newly opened MVM Dome in Budapest.

This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute. Translated by Júlia Tar.

The French national team arrived in Hungary on Monday, after which players and even the national coach were indignant about the circumstances in their hotel. Above all, they complained about the hotel guests, who did not wear masks, together with whom they had to spend time, such as in the dining room. The same opinion was expressed by Serbia’s national coach, Toni Gerona, who was also angry about the testing procedure and the delayed test results.

It is well-known that coronavirus measures in Hungary are very lenient, especially compared to other European countries.

The Hungarian Handball Federation, one of the organizers of the European Championship, has now responded to the criticism:

We are organizing the European Championship together with the European Handball Federation (EHF) in full compliance with its regulations. The delegations of all countries have already inspected the four-star hotels in the fall, and so far no objections have been raised. In addition, all of them have become familiar with the applicable legislation and the COVID protocol prescribed by the EHF and have complied with it in their respective countries. The organizers have informed the teams in detail, as well as thoroughly answered all questions that arose, which all have accepted. For this reason, we do not understand the statements from the French and the Serbs. If the following legitimate claims still arise, we are ready to fulfill them, the necessary contacts are available for this purpose.”

The European Handball Federation (EHF) also issued a statement in which they point out that the cooperation with the parties involved in combating the challenges is continuous.

Meanwhile, Iceland’s national coach also expressed outrage at the conditions in their hotel, with Montenegro’s coach angry that they were put up in a separate hotel due to the high number of their infected players.

PMO Head Gulyás: French handball players behavior “colonial arrogance”

PMO Gergely Gyulás commented on the criticism at a press conference, saying:

We find it unusual for someone to come as a guest to a host country, where we are doing everything we can to hold the European Championship in such extremely difficult conditions, and to comment with a kind of colonial arrogance on the conditions here. There are guest rights, but there is also politeness.”

According to Gulyás, French handball players behaved with “colonial arrogance.”

Sources: Nemzeti Sport, 24.hu

In the featured photo illustration: French national team players Nikola Karabatić and Cédric Sorhaindo. Photo by MTI/EPA/Srdjan Suki