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Germany, Denmark to host 2019 handball world championship

Germany and Denmark are to jointly host the 2019 World Men's Handball Championship. The venue was decided by the International Handball Federation meeting in Doha. Japan will host the Women's World Championship.

The International Handball Federation (IHF) on Monday awarded the hosting of its 2019 world championships jointly to Denmark and Germany. The opening game of the men's series will be played in Berlin; the final in Copenhagen.

Twin hosting is a novelty for handball, a sport that is widely followed in continental Europe and Middle East. It is played in 183 countries by approximately 800,000 teams, according to the IHF.

Bernhard Bauer, the new president of the German Handball Federation, said in Doha "the basis idea is that we begin in German regions in the south and then wander north."

The venues in Germany will be - aside from Berlin - Munich, Cologne, Mannheim, Hamburg and Kiel. Aside from Copenhagen, the other Danish venue will be Herning.

Danish handball executive Per Bertelssen added: “We have given our best in only three weeks of preparation time. We have worked hard and made a good presentation. Now I'm deeply moved.”

Other candidates for the 2019 hosting had been Poland as well as another joint bid, from Hungary and Slovakia.

Germany - mixed fortunes

For Germany, it will be the sixth time it has hosted mens' handball at world level. It won while host in 2007 but since then it has struggled with failures at Olympic and European level and the loss of a television broadcast slot for German viewers on Tuesdays.

In January 2012, the German national team suffered a double blow with a loss to Poland that eliminated them from the European Championship and dashed their chances of qualifying for the London Olympics.

In Doha, the IHF awarded the hosting of the women's world championships to the Japanese region of Kumamoto. Kumamoto hosted the men's championship in 1997.

ipj/ph (sid, dpa)