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24.10.2009, 18:16
Conference and Congress end in Limassol
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Read the summary of the 9th EHF Conference of Presidents and the 10th EHF Extraordinary Congress.
 

Conference and Congress end in Limassol

Over a hundred representatives of EHF Member Federations have convened in Limassol, Cyprus, on the occasion of the 9th EHF Conference of Presidents and the 10th EHF Extraordinary Congress.

The sport-political event that took place on 24 October 2009 was attended by 47 EHF Member Federations and the Associated Federation Kosovo as well as honorary guests, representatives of the highest sport authorities of Cyprus and EHF partners.

9th EHF Conference of Presidents

The Conference, which serves as a discussion forum for exchange of information between National Federation leaders, was opened by EHF President Tor Lian and Cyprus Handball Federation President Charalambos Lottas.

The international guests were also welcomed by high representatives of local authorities: Ouranios Ionnidis, President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, Costas Papacostas, General Director of the Cyprus Sport Organisation and Titos Christofides, Under Secretary of the President of Government.

The IHF was represented by President Dr. Hassan Moustafa and Vice President Miguel Roca at the conference. In his speech Mr. Moustafa underlined the importance of the event as an occasion to meet top handball nations. “Europe plays a leading role in the game worldwide,” he said and gave as well a report on current IHF matters.

Following the opening, EHF President Tor Lian handed over the EHF Special Award to General Charalambos Lottas, the President of the Cyprus Handball Federation since 1993, recognising his active participation in sports in general and in European handball in particular.

EHF President Tor Lian then gave a report on EHF activities for the guests, which was followed by a detailed presentation of Secretary General Michael Wiederer on the challenges of handball and the responses to the manipulation attempts that surfaced earlier this year.

EHF Integrity Programme

A specialist dealing with the subject of manipulation in sports, Erling Grimstad, took the floor to introduce the EHF Integrity Programme for the federation leaders. Mr. Grimstad, Managing Director of g-partner, has been working together with the EHF to help prevent any future manipulation attempt.

EURO Qualification analysis

The EURO Qualification system was also on the agenda. For the first time in the EURO history, a qualification phase was played for the EHF EURO 2010 in Austria with games on home and away basis. The same system is currently being applied at the Women´s EHF EURO 2010 Qualification.

Now that the EHF Executive Committee as well as the Member Federations have experience in this matter, the time has come for analysis, discussion and drawing the conclusions. Competitions Commission Chairman, Jan Tuik, presented an overview on the situation.

Stakeholders in European handball

EHF Vice President Jean Brihault took the floor to give a summary on the dialogue between the EHF and the various stakeholders in European handball. The presentation led up to the proposal tabled by the EXEC, Motion no.5, on setting up the Professional Handball Board.

Development agreements

Altogether 11 nations joined development programmes running inside the EHF structures. The formal act of signing took place at the 9th EHF Conference of Presidents.

The National Federations of Spain, Italy, Montenegro and Turkey signed the Rinck Convention; Armenia and Moldova became signatory to the SMART Programme. The Handball Federations of Spain and Italy, Czech Republic and Armenia, Denmark and Albania, Sweden and England will be partners under the Foster Project, a development programme based on support and contribution of nations with stronger handball traditions.

10th EHF Extraordinary Congress

The highest level decision-making body of the EHF, the Congress, was called together to vote upon seven motions tabled by the Executive Committee.

Following the presentation of the motions by the EXEC members, the Congress cast their votes.

The Congress voted in favour of Motion no. 1 to remove restrictions regarding recourse to civil procedre in conformity with common law.

The Implementation of Anti-corruption and Fair Competition Act including detailed provisions relating to corruption, bribery, manipulation and other types of undue influence in the EHF Arbitration Regulations and in the list of penalties of the Arbitration Regulations (Motion no. 2 and 3) were supported by the Congress.

At the same time, listening to the inputs of Member Federation leaders, the EHF ExeC withdrew Motion no. 4, a proposal to give the tool called “Act of Grace” for the Executive Committee.

The Congress, voting with simple majority for Motion no. 5, rejected setting up the Professional Handball Board in its proposed form. The passing of the proposal would have needed a two-thirds support. At the same time, the Congress participants underlined their interest in the Executive Committee continuing its work on the project of implementing a platform for the different stakeholders in European handball.

The ExeC at its next meeting in Copenhagen, 21-22 November 2009, will decide on the following steps in this matter.

Similarly, the Congress did not support a change in the allocation mode of the European Championship Final Tournaments with the necessary two-thirds majority (Motion no. 6).

Finally, the Congress passed the motion on the EHF EURO Qualification (Motion no. 7). Accordingly, the Men’s and Women’s European Championship qualification after 2010 will be played in two phases and by having groups of four teams playing home and away qualification games. This will reduce the number of matches and ease the burden on top handball national players.

Election for open positions

Two positions remained open inside the EHF structures. The Congress confirmed the nomination of Paul Hoes, Netherlands, to the CC Committee National Teams as well as Bogdan Sojkin, Poland, to the National Team Board.

EURO 2010 coming up

The Austrian Handball Federation, hosts of the next major tournament – EHF EURO 2010 taking place from 19 to 31 January 2010 in Graz, Linz, Innsbruck, Wr. Neustadt and Vienna – held a presentation at the Congress and gave a brief summary for the delegates.

Conclusion

EHF President Tor Lian closed the day of meeting emphasising the positive atmosphere of the working procedures inside the European Handball Federation. The delegates of the Member Federations and the EHF leadership thanked the Cyprus Handball Federation for hosting the Conference of Presidents and the Extraordinary Congress in a perfect environment.

The next EHF Congress will be held in Denmark in September 2010.


TEXT: EHF
 
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