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EHF EXEC meets ahead of Extraordinary Congress

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The EHF Executive Committee has gathered in Vienna on Friday for its 160th meeting since the foundation of the EHF.

The meeting took place on the eve of the 14th Extraordinary Congress and the European Handball Federation’s celebrations for its 30th anniversary this weekend.

It was the first meeting 'in full' for the new EXEC following the election congress in April, with Xavier O’Callaghan and Marta Bon taking their seats as Professional Handball Board and Women’s Handball Board representatives after their respective nomination at the PHB & WHB meetings in October.

Business Reports

The EXEC received the latest business reports from the European Handball Federation including the report of the Anti-doping Unit as well as the legal report with an update on all cases closed respectively opened or still pending across the three EHF’s legal instances.

Ahead of the Extraordinary Congress on Saturday, the EXEC was updated on the latest status of the EHF Master Plan, 'The Seven Players of the Future' as well as the progress for the European Handball House and the plans for a European Handball Foundation.

Technical Commission reports

Reports from the technical commissions were brought to the attention of the EXEC. From the Competitions Commission this included the minutes of the first meeting of the newly appointed Technical Refereeing Committee.

The TRC, chaired by Dragan Nachevski (MKD), consists out of five additional members, with Denis Reibel (FRA) being responsible for grassroots, Jutta Ehrmann-Wolf (GER) for female referees, Oyvind Togstad (NOR) for elite referees and Zigmars Sondors (LAT) for development. They are supported by the EHF’s referee coordinator George Bebetsos who is working from the EHF Office in Vienna.

The TRC noted the necessity that the area of officiating needs to remain attractive for younger men and women and courses, projects and initiatives shall be steered in that direction with – wherever possible – recently retired top referees also acting as role models for the future generations.

In the Methods Commission’s report, the 6th EHF Scientific Conference stood out. It was organised on 4 and 5 November with 125 registered persons (handball coaches, rehabilitation specialists, faculty teachers, sport scientists and sport students) from 27 countries listening to two keynote speeches and 35 presentations. Another nine presentations were presented as poster and available for all participants.

The EXEC also took note of the meeting with Special Olympics Europe and members of the EHF Office. A concept is being worked on for a possible “EHF & Special Olympics European Handball Week” in 2022 including a tournament and Europe-wide online activations.

Furthermore, the Handball Federation of Ukraine was confirmed as a level 3 signatory to the “RINCK” Convention. The respective contract will be signed on Saturday at the Extraordinary Congress.

The Beach Handball Commission submitted several motions to the Executive Committee, mainly with regards to the staging of future beach handball events. Following a careful examination of the bids submitted, the EXEC took the following decisions:

  • Awarding of ebt Finals 2022: it was recommended to award the organisation right to the Italian Federation and the city of Isola delle Femmine for the next 3 editions of the ebt Finals. Following deliberation and discussion of the written motion and the information supplied by the BC Chairwoman, the Executive Committee unanimously approved the motion for one year (2022) with an option for a possible prolongation for additional years (2023 and 2024).

  • The organisation right for the YAC 16 EHF Beach Handball EURO 2022 (7 to 10 July) is given to Russia. The event will take place in Moscow. Parallel to this event on the exact same days, Russia will also organise the Qualifier Tournaments for the Beach Handball EURO 2023.
  • In 2023, beach handball will be part of the European Games for the first time. It was confirmed that the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023 will be the qualification event for the European Games with seven teams per gender qualifying.

The EXEC also took note of the successful organisation of the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup which was played at the beginning of October in Isola delle Femmine.

National Team & Club Competitions

The Executive Committee received an report on the preparations for the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia which included the most recent status updates regarding the setup procedures for the five venues in Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged, Kosice and Bratislava. The hygiene protocol in place for the final tournament is currently being worked on and will be issued in due time.

The EXEC also confirmed the joint bid of Spain, Portugal and Switzerland for the Men’s EHF EURO 2028. The bid can subsequently be presented to Saturday’s Extraordinary Congress in Vienna together with the bids for the EHF EUROs in 2026 and the bid for the Women's EHF EURO 2028.

Presented by the EHF Marketing Managing Director David Szlezak, the EXEC received a report on EHFM’s most recent business year, the 2020/21 season, which despite all challenges faced enabled EHFM to fulfil all the guaranteed disbursements towards the clubs and towards the EHF.

Business & International Partners

The Executive Committee was given an update on the EHF partners, including the list of confirmed sponsors for the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 and the partnership with Infront and the DAZN Group.

The overview of elections which took place at the most recent congress of the International Handball Federation was presented. The EXEC also took note of the IHF Council’s decision on the amendment of the beach handball clothing regulations which had been brought to the attention of the IHF Congress. The new regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

The EXEC meeting was closed with a preview to Saturday’s Extraordinary Congress which includes the awarding for the Men’s and Women’s EHF EUROs in 2026 and 2028.

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