Handball team to miss Euro 2008 event

The men’s national handball team, which had ended a respectable sixth at the 2004 Athens Olympics and Worlds, a year later, tumbled out of Euro 2008 qualifying competition yesterday following a 24-20 loss against Portugal. This campaign’s failure confirmed fears that the team was ailing in unity as a result of player transfers to major European clubs, in countries such as Germany, Spain and Switzerland, which boast the sport’s leading club-level leagues. The majority of the national team’s players moved abroad following Greece’s impressive appearances at the Athens Olympics and Worlds. But this has come at the cost of unity as the federation juggles to coordinate the disparate commitments of players in various leagues ahead of national team duty.