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Sixteen years later
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 06 - 08 - 2009

Egyptians surely had in mind to win back the world youth handball crown they held in 1993 when they played against Iceland yesterday in Cairo, Inas Mazhar reports
Altogether 24 teams are taking part in the two-week XVII Men's Junior World Handball Championship that will run until 19 August. They will be competing in three different venues: Cairo, Port Said and Suez. Group A includes Germany, Egypt, Kuwait, Argentine, Qatar and Iceland. Group B comprises of France, Spain, Iran, Tunisia, Brazil and Norway. Group C includes Sweden, Estonia and Slovenia, the Netherlands, Lebanon and Greenland. Group D includes Denmark, Portugal, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Algeria.
Groups A and D will play at the Cairo Stadium indoor complex in halls one and two. The Mubarak Indoor Hall at the Mubarak Stadium in Suez was selected as the venue of Group B matches while Port Said was selected as venue for Group C.
The Egyptian team has been training abroad in Portugal and the Czech Republic as part of its build-up for the World Championships. The Egyptians are hoping to take advantage of playing at home in order to win back the cup they previously held in 1993. Sixteen years ago, the Egyptians set the highest record of more than 35,000 spectators attending the final match. This record remains unbroken.
According to regulations for the International Handball Federation (IHF) competition, 14 players may be put in per match in world championship and related qualifying rounds. Players born in 1988 or after are eligible to play. Definitive team registrations have to be presented today, 6 August 2009, and are binding during the whole tournament. Because the Egypt and Iceland teams had their opening match 5 August, there was a short meeting in the morning at the IHF's hotel.
Other provisions include: after the preliminary round each team may replace up to two players (the new players to be taken from the provisional list). And after the main round, similarly, each team may replace up to two players (the new players taken from the provisional list). If a team has registered less than 16 players, it may register one additional player later on during the world championship.
In accordance with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the IHF, anti-doping tests will be carried out at the tournament. Samples will be sent to Turkey for analysis.
The preliminary round is played in groups. Matches will be evaluated as follows: the winner of each match wins two points, a point from a drawn match and none for a match lost. Teams are ranked according to the total number of points gained. If two or more teams have gained the same number of points after the group matches have been completed, placing is decided as follows: results in points between the teams concerned; goal differences in matches between the teams concerned; and greater number of plus goals in the matches between the teams concerned.
If teams remain equal, a decision is made between those teams with an equal number of points as follows: goal difference is subtracted in all matches; greater number of plus goals in all matches. If classification is still not possible, a draw shall decide. The official IHF representative engaged at the location shall make the draw, if possible in the presence of those responsible for the teams. If those responsible for the teams cannot be present, other co-workers selected by the IHF will witness the draw.
The teams ranked first to third in Groups A/B and C/ D each are put together in Groups MI and MII of the main round. The preliminary round results of the teams playing in the same main round group are taken into consideration.
After completion of the preliminary, main and placement rounds, the placement matches, quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals will be played in accordance with a knockout system.
In case of a draw at the end of regular playing time, after a break of five minutes there is a first overtime period of two sets of five minutes, changing sides half way through with a one-minute break in between. If the match is still not decided after this overtime period, after a break of five minutes a second overtime period of two sets of five minutes follows, changing sides half way through with a one minute break. If still undecided, the game concludes with seven-metre penalty throws in accordance with game rules.

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