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16:38 21-November-2017

Scandal is under way before the Euros!

Categories: Eastern Europe
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Written by: Rasmus Boysen

A scandal is under way. Split may not hold group A of the European Championship in Croatia in January after all!

Croatia hosts the European championship (January 12-28, 2018) and matches should be played in Split, Varaždin, Poreč and Zagreb. However, it is questionable whether Split will be confirmed as a host, and it is exactly where the Championships opening game, Croatia against Serbia, should be played!

The Croatian media reports about the problems.

With less than two months until the Championship in Croatia the main organizers the EHF (European Handball Federation) and HRS (Croatian Handball Association) could be found in front of an inevitable obstacle!

On Wednesday, November 22, the Croatian Handball Association must provide EHF with a final list of host cities and announce whether all the arenas are organizationally ready to hold matches and all related content. While in Zagreb, Varaždin and Poreč almost everything was done, in Split, the realization of the project did not even begin.

Of course, because of finance. Spaladium Arena is a bankrupt company, and the facility itself is only occasionally operational. The interior is preserved, but a good part of the arena and the environment is still a great building site. In which there has been nothing for years, and the arena, instead of becoming the pride of the city of Split, has become its mood and undesirable burden.

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The reaction from the Croatian Handball Association is awaiting, but it is almost unbelievable that the HRS account has the amount of money that would immediately be transferred to Split.

Possible solutions? If the money is not found before Wednesday it is almost certain that Split will lose the European Championship household. The leaders of the EHF and the European Championships Organizing Committee will not gamble and wait for 'some people there' to agree on the rental price of the hall that has been falling for years over the unresolved political-economic relations in Split. It is according to easy to move the household to Osijek, which in 2009 hosted the World Championship in its new arena.

"In the last couple of days, the European Handball Federation has pressured the Croatian Handball Association for delivering signed contracts with all the cities of the European Championships. We have a problem now that we do not have a signed contract from Split. We need to deliver this contract to EHF by Monday. We have negotiated all the terms of the agreement with Split, but we have not yet formally obtained the above contract and we are trying to sign it as soon as possible. Ten days ago, in the City of Split, a rush was sent to sign a contract. We have not yet received any term, and we had to stop the sale of tickets because we had to hand over the signed contract to continue," said the President of the Croatian Handball Association Tomislav Grahovac in a press release.

The Spaladium Arena in Split is a 12.000 seat venue. All the matches of group A with Sweden, Iceland, Serbia and Croatia was supposed to be played there.

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