IHF President Hassan Moustafa, centre right, met with delegates for the World Championship ©IHF

International Handball Federation (IHF) President Hassan Moustafa has warned those planning to travel for next month's IHF Men's Handball World Championship that anyone who breaks COVID-19 preventative guidelines will not be welcome.

Mostafa met with the Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, Egyptian Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed and members of the Egypt 2021 Organising Committee to discuss the latest updates for the tournament.

An updated COVID-19 Medical Precaution Plan was released at the beginning of December, which led to Moustafa stressing the importance of sticking to the rules.

"We have set special, tough and strict medical measures and precautions to be followed during the Egypt 2021 Championship and there will be no place for those who fail to adhere to these measures," the Egyptian said.

The current rules were underlined by Zayed, with an emphasis on the testing protocol and the bubble concept being enforced for the event.

Denmark are the reigning world champions from 2019 ©IHF
Denmark are the reigning world champions from 2019 ©IHF

It is expected that 20,000 polymerase chain reaction tests will be taken prior to and during the competition.

Zayed called this a challenge, but also stated that a regular update of data is needed to guarantee the accuracy of the tests.

Sobhy said that every hotel hosting teams, participants or organisers will be closed to the public, while Zayed highlighted that foreign spectators will travel on different routes within Egypt to home fans to ensure no contact.

Anyone who violates the rules faces being fined.

Moustafa said the IHF will tap into the experience of the European Women's Handball Championships, which concluded in Denmark yesterday.

"Meanwhile, we are working to ensure that every visitor from abroad who returns to their home country will feel that the event was a good ambassador for Egypt," he added.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is due to attend the event to assess how competitions are hosted during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics less than a year away.

Due to the virus, Tokyo 2020 was postponed by a year and is now set to take place from July 23 to August 8 in 2021.

The 27th edition of the IHF Men's World Handball Championship in Egypt is set to the be the first to feature 32 teams, and is scheduled to take place from January 13 to 31.