After the clear 28:35 defeat of the German handball team in the quarter-finals of the World Cup against France, national coach Alfred Gislason congratulated the opponent fairly, then he talked himself into a rage about the mode of the finals in Poland and Sweden.
"What annoys me a bit is the schedule. There's a difference between having two days off before a game like this or just one like us. That was a big factor," said the 63-year-old Icelander.
While the Olympic champion and record world champion from France was able to play his last main round game last Sunday, the DHB selection had to play against Norway on Monday evening and fly from Katowice to Gdansk on Tuesday when there was no play. "It was a real strain. We couldn't really prepare for the game," complained Gislason.
Victory was "not at this level" deserved
It is "a shame" that when the World Cup is held in different countries, "one team hits significantly more than the other," complained the national coach, adding: "Of course it's not ideal when a World Cup is held in two countries and one has to travel more than the other. Of course you can sugarcoat that, but the truth is: it's a significant additional burden for the team that has to travel."
The French victory was deserved, Gislason stated, "but not on this scale". He also attributed the result, which was clear in the end, to the wear and tear in the DHB team. Especially with the frequent players "the batteries ran out" in the final phase, said Gislason.
Before the duel with African champions Egypt on Friday in Stockholm, it is now important to recharge the batteries. "But that won't be easy, because we have another travel day. We don't have much time," said the national coach. Nevertheless, Gislason promised: "We will do everything we can to win the game and get the best possible result from this tournament."