Berlin (dpa) – National goalkeeper Johannes Bitter understands that selected players will cancel their participation in the World Cup handball in Egypt in January, but he absolutely wants to be there himself.

It is human for players to abandon the World Cup for family reasons, the goalkeeper of the Bundesliga club TVB 1898 Stuttgart said in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Saturday). “I could never have played this World Cup with very young children. But my children are older, more independent and I just want to be there with the Olympics this year,” said the 38-year-old.

The World Cup will take place from 13 to 31 January in Egypt. So far, German national players Patrick Wiencek, Finn Lemke, Fabian Wiede and Hendrik Pekeler have announced that they will not be participating due to the corona pandemic.

Bitter himself was sick with Covid-19. He became infected with the corona virus during an international trip with the national team. “I got through the disease pretty well, but it was a week I didn’t feel well,” said Bitter. He’d struggled with several symptoms and hadn’t tasted or smelled anything within two days.

He can still feel the aftermath. “Not that I am not ready to perform, but the sum of the costs is not as simple as usual for me,” said the goalkeeper. He still needs a little more rest and sleep than usual.

Together with other players, Bitter tries to make the World Cup as safe as possible under the circumstances of the corona pandemic. It’s about what belongs in the hygiene concept, how things went in the Bundesliga and also what happens when a player becomes infected in Egypt.

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