By Beng Emmanuel
Algeria have withdrawn from the 24th edition of the African Women’s Handball Championship barely six days to the start of the competition in Cameroon, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The North African nation were lodged in pool C alongside 13-time winners and defending champions Angola, Congo and Cape Verde.
This implies that only eleven nations of the initial 12 participating teams will compete for the converted trophy in Cameroon this month.
Algeria was set to make their eighteenth appearance at the biennial event, having featured at the final phase of the competition an impressive 17 times. They finished 8th during the previous edition in 2018.
The announcement coincides with an inspection visit of the African Handball Confederation to Cameroon.
The administrative body of African handball teams has added five more players to the reserve list. The intention is to allow the different teams engaged in the competition to have sufficient number of players to participate in the matches, in case players tests positive for coronavirus.
The 2021 African Women’s Handball Championship will run from June 8 – 18, 2021. Host Cameroon face Kenya in the opening match on June 8 at the Yaoundé Multi-purpose Sport complex.
This year’s edition serve as qualifiers for the World Women’s Handball Cup in Spain slated for December 2 – 19, 2021. The best four nations will represent the continent.