Posted on January 28, 2011

Qatar won the right to stage the 2015 Men’s Handball World Championship, beating out competition from France, Norway and Poland in the International Handball Federation vote yesterday.

The handball decision follows FIFA’s vote to host the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and the emirate is currently staging the Asian Cup football competition with Australia and Japan playing in the final tomorrow.

The women’s world championship in the same year went to Denmark, which was the only remaining candidate following the withdrawal of South Korea.

Twelve of the 17 members of the International Handball Federation’s Council cast their votes. The IHF president and council members from the bidding nations (two from France and one from Norway) abstained from voting while one representative from Africa could not make it to polling.

The four bidding nations made a 30-minute presentation before the council members ahead of the voting.

“All four bidders had the potential to host a successful World Championship, but the IHF Council had to choose the best of them, so Qatar,” said IHF president Dr Hassan Moustafa. “Qatar impressed the most with its final presentation and greatly succeeded in addressing all issues concerning the championship. And we thought it better to award the 2015 event to Qatar.”

Qatar Olympic Committee secretary general Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, head of the Qatar delegation, said: “Qatar has once again reiterated its position on the global sports scene. We promise the 2015 championship will be an unforgettable experience.

“We invite fans from across the world to our country and combine competition with outing as the tournament will be held in good weather, in January.”

Qatar Handball Association president Ahmed Mohammed Abdulrab al Shaabi added: “It’s recognition for Qatar as a nation as well. The game will surely witness a great championship in 2015. From the spectators’ point of view, we promise no seats will be empty when we host the event,” said Al Shaabi.

The result was a big disappointment for France, who went into yesterday’s voting as favourite.

“I am disappointed because you know as I do that we have an outstanding team, on and off the pitch,” a tearful French federation president Joel Delplanque said in a video posted on the FFH website (www.ff-handball.org).

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