French handball players unhappy with Covid rules in Hungary

The players gave short interviews to the French newspaper Le Figaro, and just like last summer football players complained about their hotel and Hungarian Covid rules, just like handball players now.

Covid regulations and issues

Several members of the French handball team were outraged by local epidemiological rules after arriving in Hungary. Three-time Olympic and four-time world champion Nikola Karabatić, who was voted the best player in the world three times, complained that after Christmas and the New Year, the time they spent away from their families (to prepare for the European Championship and not to catch Covid), they had to mingle with non-masked customers in their hotel in Hungary where they couldn’t even get separate meals from other customers.

National team goalkeeper Vincent Gérard was surprised by the Hungarian situation, compared to the measurements of the two major handball tournaments in 2021, the Tokyo Olympics and the Egyptian World Cup. “It’s not necessarily respectful to the players and staff members who really did their best and worked very hard to arrive healthy,” reports of the player’s comments.

Federal captain Guillaume Gille expressed a similar position on how he did not find it acceptable that there was such a difference between the rules of the international federation and those of the host country. However, Kentin Mahé, the French player from Veszprém, was not surprised by the Hungarian situation: “Knowing Hungary, I was not surprised. We know that the Hungarian government will make decisions later than its neighbours. Why? I don’t know, I’m not a politician.

Last year, French footballers also filed a complaint with the media

It’s the second time in a short time that French teams have come to Hungary because of the European Championship and don’t like something. Last summer, the national football team was not happy with the accommodation in Budapest because it was not luxurious enough for them.

This time, Hungary played a draw against the French team. You can see our article on the game in the Puskás Arena Budapest here:

During the Hungarian-Slovak European Handball Championship, the French Olympic champions will be grouped with the Croats, the Ukrainians and the Serbs and will play the three matches in Szeged.

The Serbian coach on Twitter

Toni Gerona, the Spanish coach of the Serbian team also complained. He wrote a Twitter post, stating that the hotel guests are in the same area as the players, the teams have not been tested in time, several players have already been infected, asking the question: how did they could play like that?

The handball association responded

The Hungarian Handball Association (MKSZ) responded to the objections of the French team in a press release. They specify that the European Championship is organized according to the regulations of the European Handball Association (EHF).

“Delegations from all participating countries have already visited the four-star hotels in the fall, and no issues have arisen since then. In addition, the legislation in force and the Covid protocol required by the EHF are known to all and are followed in the host countries.

they write. MKSZ also adds that the organizers of the European Championship provided detailed information to the teams and gave in-depth answers to all the questions that arose, which were accepted by everyone.

“We are intrigued by the declaration of the French and the Serbs. If there are still legitimate needs in the future, we are able and willing to address them, and the appropriate contacts are available,”

says MKSZ, according to

The Euro Championship begins on January 13. There are three places in Hungary: Budapest, Debrecen and Szeged. Budapest’s biggest new handball arena was recently completed, you can read more about it here.

The Szeged Arena was also recently completed. Pictures HERE!