The Finnish Handball Association has drifted into a crisis. The men’s national team does not qualify for the World Cup.

    In April, Finland struggled to qualify for the World Cup in a pair of matches against Croatia. PDO

    The Finnish Handball Association made a tough decision on Saturday, when it decided that the men’s national team will not participate in the 2025 World Cup qualifiers starting in the fall of 2023 due to a lack of money.

    The qualifiers for next year’s World Championships ended in the spring. Finland won its qualifying group and, after Ukraine’s withdrawal, advanced to the last stage, where Croatia was however stronger and advanced to the final tournament.

    The handball association justified its recent decision in a press release with the challenging situation after the corona years and the “uncertainty caused by the state of war”, which have caused financial problems.

    Disappointed coach

    Head coach of the men’s national team, Swedish Ola Lindgren was naturally disappointed.

    – I am not so happy with the decision, but you also have to accept the reality when there is no money. This was the union’s decision, but I think it also sends a message to the players when we cut important games, Lindgren told Iltalehte.

    The activities of the national team will not be completely suspended. Finland will continue as normal in the European Championship qualifiers in the spring. Two of the six matches of the group stage have been played. Lindgren’s salary is also running

    Ola Lindgren (left) leads Finland’s young team. PDO

    – This is a shame for the players, because we don’t get the chance to play against good teams. We have a young team and it would be important to get international games.

    The association is trying to find other games for the men for the fall.

    – We have to wait and see what decision the association makes, Lindgren said.

    Freezing readings

    If the plans work, the men’s national team’s budget will be halved in two years.

    In the handball association’s 2023 budget, the men’s national team will eat 151,000 euros. The forecast for 2022 is 189,706 euros and the realization for 2021 is 298,612 euros.

    The budget of the women’s national team has remained more or less the same since 2021. The estimate for 2023 is 97,000 euros.

    The handball association is dependent on state support, as its own operation costs hundreds of thousands of euros annually.

    This year, the association received an annual general grant of 325,000 euros from the Ministry of Education and Culture.