Friday, May 27

Norway meets Germany in corona crisis: – A great chaos

BRATISLAVA (VG) Germany have lost 11 players and are locked in their rooms between matches. Norway has introduced a ban on meeting opponents’ players outside the matches in the European Championships. Christian Berge believes the German crisis gives Norway an advantage tonight.

MEETS GERMANY: Christian Berge during the Poland match with the players (left) Sander Sagosen, Petter Øverby, Harald Reinkind, Christian O’Sullivan, Thomas Solstad and Erik Toft.

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After the liberating 42-31 victory over Poland on Thursday, Norway will meet Germany in Slovakia on Friday night.

– Germany is probably a bit weakened, but still has good players. Of course, says Christian Berge to VG. All Norwegian corona tests are also negative on Friday.

In total with the tests before the European Championships, over 100 players have experienced a positive test result for covid-19. In the European Championships themselves, there have been over 60 positive tests.

– We hold a crisis meeting every day, says Secretary General of the European Handball Federation Martin Hausleitner at a digital press conference on Friday according to Danish TV 2.

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The Germans are worst affected with 11 cases. Ahead of the loss to Sweden on Thursday, three more players tested positive. Until the important fullback Christoph Steinert just before the match was told that his test was wrong.

– It was a big chaos. I had all the emotions in the world. Suddenly a phone call came that I was false positive. I packed my things and started asking, says Steinert to ARD according to image.

He managed the match against Spain.

According to NTB, the Germans now have a “curfew” at the European Championship hotel Linder in Bratislava.

– It must be hard for them. I heard from a teammate (Kiels Rune Dahmke) who came down here. The first time he saw the team was in the locker room before the match, Bundesliga professional Harald Reinkind told NTB after the victory over Poland.

Dahmke has been brought in as a European Championship reserve. He is Stine Bredal Oftedal’s girlfriend and Sander Sagosen’s future brother-in-law.

Tough entry: Rune Dahmke (in white) has been thrown into Germany’s corona chaos. Here against Poland on Tuesday.

– They eat alone, shower alone, are alone in the room all day. We live about as usual. We are extremely skilled in infection control and must continue to do so, Sagosen tells NTB.

National team doctor Thomas Torgalsen confirms on VG’s question that the Norwegian squad has a ban on being in contact with players from the other teams at the hotel. Poland, Russia and Sweden have also had corona infection in the squad.

– Why does Germany have 11 positive tests and Norway zero?

– I do not know what Germany has done. I do not think it is coincidence, but when a team gets one or two cases, it becomes like a fire that spreads, Torgalsen answers.

He points out that the Norwegian EC squad minimized social contacts and went “in a kind of quarantine” before they came to the meeting on 2 January. Norway also canceled the match against Denmark on 5 January due to the risk of infection after a Danish player had tested positive.

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– We impose even stricter rules on ourselves than those that are formally required, says Torgalsen.

Christian Berge tries to have as little focus as possible on the pandemic and as much focus as possible on recreating the super performance against Poland.

– We will bring what we did yesterday into the match today. Then the corona will be the corona, says the national team manager.

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