This evening, the first water polo game will be held after coronavirus paralyzed the world.
Croatia and Montenegro will face off in a friendly match in Dubrovnik. The game begins at 19.00 CET.
The two national teams open a new “post-COVID 19 water polo age”.
The encounter will be the first international water polo match in Europe after more than three months of break. But, not just that. Since March an international game in team sports hasn’t been held in Europe, and probably in the world.
Spectators will attend the match. Entrance to the stands of the “Gruz” pool is free of charge, but only 800 people will be allowed to enter, because of the protective measures. One-third of the capacity of the stands can be filled.
The last international water polo games before the suspension of the competitions, caused by the coronavirus outbreak, were played at the friendly tournament “Four Nations” in Hamburg (March 9-11). Montenegro won 1st place, ahead of Germany, Georgia, and Romania.
The last match of major competitions was an encounter between Serbia and Spain in the quarterfinals of the European qualifications for the World League on March 10. Spain defeated Serbia 13:11.
The score won’t be the most important, for sure. But, without a doubt, both teams will want to show their best. Croatia wants to take revenge for a defeat in the bronze medal match at the European Championships in Budapest. Montenegro wishes to repeat the win achieved in Budapest.
Montenegro started its preparations on May 11. Croatia has been training since June 10, but most of the Croatian players returned to the pools late in April when the clubs were allowed to train.
Croatia and Montenegro won’t play in the same squads which competed at the European champions. Three players of French Marseille – Uros Cuckovic, Bogdan Djurdjic (both Montenegro), and Ante Vukicevic (Croatia) are still in France, and they yet haven’t returned to the homelands.