JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is set to welcome some of the world’s leading clubs and players to the 2021 International Handball Federation Super Globe.
Running from Oct. 4 to 9, it will be the second time in a row that the tournament, held in coordination with the Saudi Arabian Handball Federation and part of the Quality of Life program, has been staged in the Kingdom.
Fadel Al-Nimr, chairman of the Saudi federation, said: “The championship will present a big challenge and Jeddah is completely ready to host the tournament. The committee has completed 80 percent of preparations and only some minor details remain.”
Al-Nimr added that there was great support from the Ministry of Sports to ensure the success of the Super Globe, especially as handball was now the second-most popular sport in the country.
Ten clubs from different countries will participate in the competition taking place at King Abdullah Sports City, in Jeddah, with the Al-Noor and Al-Wehda teams representing the Kingdom.
They will be joined by Asian champions Al-Duhail of Qatar; European champions Aalborg of Denmark; Oceania champions the University of Sydney; San Francisco CalHeat, champions of North America and the Caribbean; Brazil’s Pineros, champions of South and Central America; African champions Zamalek of Egypt; reigning champions of the competition Barcelona; and German team Magdeburg, participating at the invitation of the IHF.
Al-Nimr had high hopes for the Saudi clubs taking part. “We are optimistic, especially after Al-Wehda achieved fourth place in the previous championship in 2019, and we hope that both Al-Noor and Al-Wehda will play well and succeed against such great continental champions from around the world.”
The Super Globe 2021 competition comes ahead of Saudi Arabia’s preparations to host the 2022 Asian Men’s Handball Championship in Dammam.
Al-Nimr, who was elected in February as the federation’s new president, added: “This tournament will provide the Saudi national team with the best preparation heading into the major tournaments over the next year.
“The actual preparation will start after the Super Globe 2021. We set up an indoor camp in Dammam, then the real preparations for the Greens get underway. We’re excited to be building on our commitment to our national handball team, by investing in and delivering such tournaments featuring the best teams and players from around the world.”
He pointed out that the federation’s vision for the sport included developing several strategies that would require time to implement.
“We are working in conjunction with the strategy of the Ministry of Sports and the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“Our focus will be on achieving advanced positions in the Asian Championship and qualifying for the ninth time for the World Cup finals, as well as achieving an advanced position in the World Championship, God willing we achieve qualification,” he said.