News ID: 322690
Published: 1032 GMT July 04, 2022

Iran ‘not intimidated by any opponent’ at world handball meet: Vujovic

Iran ‘not intimidated by any opponent’ at world handball meet: Vujovic

Sports Desk

Iran coach Veselin Vujovic said his team will be fearless when heading into the 2023 IHF Men’s World Handball Championship.

The draw for the elite international handball competition – starting Jan. 11 next year in Poland and Sweden – took place on Saturday, where Iran was pitted against Spain, Montenegro, and Chile in Group A.

“Iran will have to face some really strong opponents in the group but we’ll put in all our efforts to achieve decent results,” said the Montenegrin, who led Slovenia to a third-spot finish in the competition in 2017.

Iran will kick off its campaign in Krakow, Poland, against Chile, which finished third in January’s South and Central American Championship.

Vujovic’s men will then take on Montenegro on January 14, before an encounter against Spain – world champion in 2005 and 2013 and a 2021 bronze medalist – two days later.

“Spain is obviously the best team in the group. Montenegro was the surprise package in the latest European Championship [in January] and Chile has been a constant participant in the World Championship over the years. But we won’t be intimidated by any opponent and will go all out against them,” Vujovic.

Top three of each of the eight groups will progress to the second-round group phase, with bottom sides divided into two groups of the so-called President’s Cup to play for the last eight spots.

Asked if he fancies Iran to advance to the second round, Vujovic said: “It will be a tough mission, but surely not an impossible one.”

Vujovic, who took over from Spaniard Manuel Montoya Fernandez in April, said it will be an uncomfortable experience to steer Iran against his home country but added: “Let’s not forget this is just a sporting contest.”

Iran secured a second berth at the World Championship – following the 2015 event – thanks to a fourth-place finish at the Asian Handball Championship in Saudi Arabia in January.


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