Euro 2020

Sport Gille on an Olympic mission – Euro 2020

by: Adam Smith


So everything goes very fast in handball: on 13 January, the day after the defeat against Norway at Euro-2020 (28-26), synonymous with elimination in the first round after the opening defeat against Portugal (28-25), the national technical director Philippe Bana swept away the idea of sacking coach Didier Dinart. But that’s what happened on Tuesday: the 43-year-old Guadeloupean, who took over as head of Les Bleus in the autumn of 2016, was replaced by his deputy Guillaume Gille (also 43 years old). Faced with the risk of Les Bleus going straight into the wall during the TQO from 17 to 19 April in Paris-Bercy, “the decision to sideline him had to be taken,” said Joel Delplanque, President of the Federation.

Guillaume Gille, on the other hand, is aware of the “enormous responsibility” and the “challenge” that presents itself to him. His ambition: that Les Bleus “rise up, regain a somewhat frayed confidence of the landmarks,” added the eldest of the Gille siblings, whose two brothers Bertrand and Benjamin were also internationals.

Avoid camouflage at all costs

He will take the time to set up his staff with an assistant and a physical trainer, whose names are expected to be announced in March.

But there is urgency, because the cleaver competition scheduled for mid-April, “a barbaric tournament of three matches in three days” says Bana, promises to be very complicated, with the Croatian European vice-champions, the Vice-Champions of Africa Tunisians as competitors. and the Portuguese, executioners of the French twice in nine months. Only two tickets to Tokyo will be in play. A non-qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games would be a huge cover-up for the tricolour handball.

Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012, still silver at the 2016 Olympic Games, France has never missed the Olympic Games since its emergence on the international scene in 1992 and the feat of the “Bronzés” of Barcelona.