IHF announces unified Korean team for the World Championship 2019
Korea will play the Men’s World Championship 2019 with a unified team including players from both Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as announced by the International Handball Federation.The IHF states that both countries and respective National Olympic Committees agreed on the invitation to start with a unified team. At least four players from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be part of the squad. Because of the special status and to integrate those players easier, IHF have decided to increase the number of players in the unified team from 16 to 20.
Korea will play the opening match of the 2019 World Championship in Berlin against host Germany. Like at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeongchang, Korea will start with the country abbreviation COR and under the blue flag symbolizing unified Korea. Besides Germany, Korea will face Serbia, Russia, Brazil and defending champions France in group A.
The IHF initiative was with the full support of the International Olympic Committee and IOC President Dr Thomas Bach. “This initiative and the ready cooperation from the Republic of Korea and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea uphold the principles of the Olympic Movement, and the IHF are proud that handball will continue to be a global leader in promoting peace and unity through sport with this step,” was stated by the IHF.