EM | Game for 3rd place: Staff shortage at the DHB – Wolff gives the all-clear

Before the game for third place, the DHB stars have to contend with some personnel concerns. While Andi Wolff gave the all-clear, others could be out.

Goalkeeper Andreas Wolff gave the all-clear regarding his own health condition before the game for third place at the home European Championship against Sweden. During the semi-final defeat against Denmark, the German national goalkeeper repeatedly grabbed his neck. Last year he suffered a slipped disc right there and was out for several months.

During a media meeting on Saturday, Wolff said that it was to be expected that the neck would cause problems again during the tournament. The fact that it only occurs so late in the tournament is positive. Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, he simply said: “I can play.”

Häfner’s return uncertain

For other players, however, the situation is more complicated. The return of left-hander Kai Häfner is still unclear. “I still don’t know whether Häfner is coming back or not,” said national coach Alfred Gíslason on Saturday in Cologne. The use of backcourt player Martin Hanne for the German European Championship final on Sunday is also questionable.

“He was already sick yesterday, but I think it got a little worse,” reported the DHB coach. Things are looking “a little better” for right winger Timo Kastening, who like Häfner missed the semi-final against Denmark (26:29). Left winger Lukas Mertens, who was also injured, is also doing “quite well”.

Uscins with strong performance

According to the German Handball Association (DHB), Häfner was “not available at short notice” for the Denmark game and the backcourt player left the team quarters “for private reasons”. The 34-year-old had already missed a game in the preliminary round after becoming a father for the second time.

Should Häfner continue to be unavailable, U21 world champion Renars Uscins would be available as a replacement. The 21-year-old played a strong game against the Danes, scoring five goals – and received special praise from his coach. “Renars played a super strong first half. He had courage and showed his quality. It was a very strong game from him,” said Gislason.