The Hungarian government has decided to support grassroots sports for young people rather than going on with plans to host the European handball championship in 2024, Máté Kocsis, the head of the Hungarian Handball Association, said in an interview published by sports portal nemzetisport.hu on Thursday.
“It would not be correct for Hungary to spend billions on the European event, with costs already incurred, while many thousands of children and young athletes are deprived of training opportunities for months due to high energy prices,” Kocsis said, adding that “the two things will not go together”.
Kocsis said Hungary could not co-organise the championship with Austria and Switzerland as originally planned, adding that negotiations on “the best solution” were under way with the two countries. Hungary’s withdrawal “in part or full” from hosting the event “is an existing scenario”, Kocsis said. He added that when Hungary launched its bid to host the event “there was no war, no sanctions or an energy crisis and there were no financial difficulties arising from them”.
The handball association has made a deal with the government that it would use a part of the money saved on the championship to support small sports clubs, Kocsis said.
Kocsis, who is ruling Fidesz’s parliamentary group leader, also announced that he would not run for re-election as head of the association at the organisation’s upcoming general assembly in the spring.