Handball: Egypt denies Slovenia's 'food poisoning' claims at World Championship

Ahram Online , Tuesday 26 Jan 2021

Slovenia claimed that 12 players were poisoned with food before their match against World Championship hosts Egypt on Sunday

Egypt drew with Slovenia 25-25 to qualify for the World Championship quarters

Egypt's health ministry denied claims made by a Slovenian handball official that his team had suffered food poisoning ahead of their match against the hosts at the World Championship in Cairo.

The Pharaohs booked their place in the last eight on Sunday after coming from four goals down at halftime to snatch a 25-25 draw and finish second in their main-round group, behind leaders Sweden.

Goran Cvijic, the general secretary of the Handball Federation of Slovenia, heavily criticised Egypt's hosting of the tournament, accusing organisers of negligence.

"As many as twelve Players of our national team were poisoned with food in the 24 hours before our last match in Egypt. Well, it wasn't a 'virus'. The boys screamed in pain, vomited, and rushed to the toilets as if their lives were at stake," Cvijic said in a statement on Monday.

"Our problems were not overly interesting to those responsible. However, when we returned to the hotel after the match about the condition of our exhausted, sick players, we made an official record of everything that happened at the official medical service of the championship."

A health ministry official vehemently denied Slovenia's claims, saying that records of the hotels' makeshift clinics showed that "no cases with symptoms of gastrointestinal infection were recorded or monitored from the start of the tournament until today."

"Samples of food, drinking water, swimming pools and sewage water are constantly taken and sent to laboratories to ensure their compliance with health requirements, in order to ensure the health and safety of all participating delegations," Alaa Eid, the head of the World Championship's medical committee, added in a statement.

Slovenia were sent packing following the draw with Egypt. The hosts will face defending champions Denmark in the quarterfinal on Wednesday.

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