Stefan Kretzschmar is “afraid of the handball EM

Tournament in Hungary and Slovakia
Stefan Kretzschmar is “afraid” at the European Handball Championship

Stefan Kretzschmar was a professional handball player until the 2006/07 season. Today he works, among other things, as a TV commentator.

© Georg Wendt / DPA

The European handball championship starts this Thursday – but Corona is causing problems. TV commentator and ex-national player Stefan Kretzschmar takes a critical look at the virus situation.

Finally handball again – but the men’s European championship, which many fans have been looking forward to for a long time, is apparently causing a lot of problems because of the corona pandemic. Also because the hygiene rules are not uniform.

The former handball star Stefan Kretzschmar, who will work as a sports commentator at the tournament, has now commented on this in an interview with the “Tagesspiegel”. The ex-national player fears some corona problems at the European handball championship in Hungary and Slovakia.

Bad feeling at the handball EM because of Corona

“We all feel a little uncomfortable,” said the 48-year-old. This is also due to the fact that the corona situation is currently generally unclear. You don’t know what is really safe. “But it’s not just like that for us athletes,” admitted Kretzschmar. Overall, despite the best possible hygiene concept from the European Handball Federation, there is a great deal of uncertainty.

Kretzschmar – also known by his nickname Kretzsche, after which his website is named, will accompany the EM as an expert for the Internet provider “” from home – from a studio in Berlin, as the interview shows . The former professional athlete, who ended his active career in the 2006/07 season, is also the book author and sports director of the Bundesliga club Füchse Berlin.

The games of this handball championship will even be broadcast in Asia

The European Handball Championship starts this Thursday – and it will even be a global event due to the broadcasts around the world. According to information from the European Handball Federation (EHF), the tournament will be broadcast in 114 countries worldwide. The games can therefore not only be seen in Europe – but also in Asia, North America, South America and Oceania. “Spreading handball worldwide” is the goal, as EHF General Secretary Martin Hausleitner announced before the start of the tournament.

The EM appearances of the DHB selection can be seen live on classic television on ARD and ZDF. In addition, “” broadcasts all final rounds including those of the DHB selection.

The on-site spectators could, however, develop into the problem of this “global event”. At least Kretzschmar is comparatively worried about the admission of the public to the stadiums. “If you look at the global development and then hear that in Slovakia a hall occupancy rate of 25 percent is allowed and there are no restrictions in Hungary, you get scared. It’s a crazy constellation,” said Kretzschmar.

Special situation could become an opportunity for lesser-known players

“I’m worried,” he added. “With the Covid lists that are published every day, the question is not who will become European champions under regular conditions, but who will get through the best.”

Nevertheless – he is “somehow” looking forward to the EM. The current European Championship could also be interesting because the teams are set up differently. And that is – in addition to injuries to some players – due to Corona, of all things. There is also a vaccination debate in handball, and not all players want to be vaccinated and will therefore be absent. “That could be interesting because you might see players who weren’t on the radar before,” said Kretzschmar.

The German team starts the tournament against Belarus on Friday. The game from 6 p.m. will be broadcast on ARD.

Sources: ““,”“/ with material from dpa

Matthias Musche cheers.

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