Tuesday, May 17

Gets a three-week deadline: The Handball Association demands a clear answer from Christian Berge

Christian Berge (48) did not want to clarify his future as national team manager after Norway’s European Championship final. But now the board of the Norwegian Handball Association has set a date for when they demand an answer on whether he will continue until 2025 or become Kolstad coach this summer.

MUST CLEAR: Christian Berge may have led Norway for the last time in the championship. Here with Kevin Gulliksen (left) and Endre Langaas.

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Handball president Kåre Geir Lio can not give a clear answer after Norway’s dramatic 34-33 victory over Iceland in Budapest.

– I can not now. But we know that at our board meeting on 18 February. Basta, says Lio on the phone from the Hungarian capital.

– Now Christian has a few weeks to think about. Then he should answer whether he relates to the contract until 2025 or if he wants something else. We relate to both in an orderly and contractual way, says Lio.

– So you want a clarification?

– Yes, we do not want to do more with this here, Lio answers.

Christian Berge has since September been closely linked to the new major investment in Trondheim. Kolstad brings Sander Sagosen and many other profiles from the Norwegian and Icelandic national team to Trøndelag during this year and next year.

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Christian Berge again received a direct question about the future from TV3 after the victory over Iceland.

– I almost have to stop standing here and answer that. Now I’m very happy about the 5th place and will enjoy myself with the guys over it. I have a contract with the association that I relate to, Christian Berge replied. To VG’s questions about the future of Norway, he answered the following in November:

– It is almost impossible to guarantee that. There are several parties in the case. It is not possible to guarantee anything.

– How has it been to live with the uncertainty into the European Championships, Lio?

– There has been no major problem. We have a contract with a coach that we are very fond of and have done a good job for Norwegian handball. But we will no longer live with this uncertainty. It will be Christian’s exercise to find out, says the handball president.

Christian Berge became national team manager from 2014 and led Norway to the top of the world. Two World Cup silver and one European Championship bronze are the best results, but 2021 resulted in losses in both the World Cup and Olympic quarterfinals.

Nor does 5th place in the European Championships meet the Norwegian Handball Association’s goal of fighting for medals in all championships. The handball boys have played three championships in a row without reaching the semifinals.

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– I want to differentiate a little between the three championships. From 2016 until 2020 was a fantastic upswing. Something we have been longing for and waiting for for years. Suddenly we were among the top three in the world and took medals. Great stas. Then there is no doubt that the achievements in last year’s WC and Olympics were far from what we had wanted. But I think the European Championships have been an upswing compared to the two – despite the sad loss for Sweden, says Kåre Geir Lio about Tuesday’s match where Sweden won after being in the lead for 43 seconds of the match 60 minutes.

Christian Berge was asked about the last three championships after the European Championships.

– We have been out in trouble, been unlucky with injuries, and also not been good enough with those who have played. So there are several reasons for that, the national team manager replied to TV 3 after what may have been his last match with Norway in the championship.


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