The Paris 2024 organizing committee has decided to agree with the basketball players, who will play their preliminary phase in Lille, instead of handball, which is at Porte de Versailles, in Paris. Questioned by RMC Sport, Philippe Bana, president of the French handball federation, took the opportunity to tackle his counterparts.
Plans have changed for handball ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics. The organizing committee decided on Tuesday that the first week will be played at Porte de Versailles, Paris. Lille remains the host city for the final phase of both competitions, men’s and women’s.
Consequently, the basket also changes location for the preliminary phase, initially planned in a hall of the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles. Finally, the organizing committee decided to train the basketball players in Lille for the start of their competition.
“We are simple people in handball, we are given a room and a ball, we manage”
Asked by RMC Sport, Philippe Bana, president of the French Handball Federation, reacted to this change: “At the London Olympics, we played at the Copper Box, there were 5,000 seats, it was great. handball, we are simple, calm people. We are given a room and a ball, we manage, tackled the leader. The Porte de Versailles is going to be wonderful. There will be our volleyball friends, other activities. There will be a very strong Olympic atmosphere. It’s a nice first stage rocket before leaving for Lille, frankly we’re happy.”
In the second week, the handball competitions will go to Lille, where the basket will go to Paris Bercy. “No one can complain to them, believes Bana. Justice is something complicated, when you have 35 sports to manage and you don’t want to build facilities and there is a budget…. For basketball, I think it’s great. They had an extraordinary Euro 2015 in Lille. They’re going to play in front of 30,000 people, it’s a great sport, a great team.”
“The Games are something for sharing”
For his part, Philippe Bana does not complain about the fate reserved for his sport. In recent months, French basketball players had protested at having to play at Porte de Versailles, forcing the organizing committee to backtrack. “We will have Paris and Lille where there will be half a million people to come see us, with our two teams from France, from the quarter-finals. Everyone is happy”, concluded the president of the FFH.
Nevertheless, the episode, two years before the start of the Olympic Games in France, will perhaps leave some traces. “The Games remain collective. You have to get used to removing the ego from your own discipline, Bana said. You have to work with others and think that you are a member of the Olympic team, you have to share The Games are about sharing.”