Czech Republic – Iceland, match of Group 3 qualification for the 2024 European Handball Championship, March 8, Brno. From left, Viggo Kristjánsson from Iceland, Jakub Hrstka from the Czech Republic, Björgvin Páll Gústavsson from Iceland.
Reykjavík – Today in Reykjavík, the Czech handball players can secure a place in the European Championship in 2024. The national team, which coach Xavier Satabé rejoined after health problems on Saturday, will start at 17:00 against the home team of Iceland, whose representatives will play on Wednesday in Brno they surprisingly beat 22:17. The Czechs are at 100% after half of the four-man qualifying group and have a two-point advantage over the Nordic favorites at the top of the table.
Two teams from each group of four will advance to next year's championship in Germany, and they will be joined by the four best teams from third place. The Czech team is almost certain that it will at least fit in among those advancing from the third ranks. Regardless of other results, Sunday's win will guarantee Sabaté's participation in the final tournament, a draw would guarantee him progress in the event that Estonia does not win in Israel. The qualification culminates at the end of April.
The Czech national team has made its way to seven of the last eight European Championships, most recently failing to advance from the basic group at the final tournament last January in Bratislava. The championship in Germany will take place from January 10 to 28 next year.
Coach Sabaté was hospitalized after Wednesday's match in a hospital in Brno due to chronic problems, the Czech federation did not specify his problems. He was released on Friday and headed to Reykjavík to meet the team on Saturday. The implementation team was quickly supplemented by the former coach of the national team, Jan Filip, who returned to the national team after more than two years. One of Sabaté's current assistants, Jan Běloch, who was originally supposed to stay in the Czech Republic, also traveled to Iceland.