Norwegian handball fans can once again get their fill of traditional pre-Christmas matches, after the European Championships started this week. Norway won the first of three matches, against Romania in Helsingborg, Sweden.
The Norwegians beat the Romanians, both top teams, by a score of 23-21 in a match that was not without controversy. State broadcaster NRK reported that players in other matches as well complained of confusing signals from referees who took a hard line and then made it difficult for players to know how much time they had left to play.
The first match played out following poor advance ticket sales. Less than 1,000 spectators were expected for matches against Romania, Croatia and Russia, in a hall that seats 4,500. The Women’s Euro Handball tournament runs until December 18.