Global | Despite the chaos, Cape Verde made history

Info credit: IHF

Cape Verde wrote history by winning their first game in the history of the world championship, yesterday against Uruguay (33:25). All after an incredible night.

In 2021, Cape Verde participated in its first handball world championship, but the experience quickly turned into a fiasco. Affected by the Covid, the selection had only been able to play its first group match, lost against Hungary (27:34), before having to withdraw. Only nine players were still negative, and the Cape Verdeans, unable to field the ten players required by the regulations, had to pack up without playing their last two pool matches.

This year, their start to competition in Gothenburg was just as eventful, but the end was much happier. The selection, whose federation has more than limited means, sees most of its costs borne by a Cape Verdean exiled in Gothenburg, Nilton Delgado, owner of a bedding store. Along with other patrons, he sponsors the national team of his native country, as explained Swedish daily Aftonbladet.

“We have been paying for the hotel, food and a bus for the team for a few days” explains Delgado, who has now left the team in the hands of the organization. He and the other patrons notably supported the Cape Verdean selection from its preparation, in Switzerland, until its arrival in Sweden, before the start of the competition.

In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, before their first match, six Cape Verdean players had the unpleasant surprise of seeing their beds collapse…“I don’t know what the hotel was thinking. Some players are two meters tall and weigh over 100 kilos. Nevertheless, they had to sleep in wooden bunk beds. They fell on top of each other, the beds couldn’t resist. So I had to drive them to another hotel late yesterday, they couldn’t go to bed until midnight” said Nilton Delgado.

Delgado is part of a small Cape Verdean colony settled in Gothenburg, employed mainly in shipyards. Yesterday, a hundred of them came to applaud their selection, and did not hide their joy when they won the match against Uruguay (33:25).

If the selection wrote history yesterday, and could well open the doors to an unexpected main round, it would then stay a few more days in Gothenburg. Hoping to have no more bed problems…

In Katowice, Kevin Domas

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