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01.06.2019, 11:50
Cologne hosts Europe’s presidents ahead of VELUX EHF FINAL4
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NEWS: Representatives from all EHF national federations meet in Cologne ahead of the start of VELUX EHF FINAL4
 

Cologne hosts Europe’s presidents ahead of VELUX EHF FINAL4

Cologne hosted more than just Europe’s top handball teams over the weekend 1/2 June 2019.

Ahead of the start of final weekend of the club handball season, Europe’s federations met on the fringes of the event to discuss the latest developments in the sport.
All 50 of the EHF’s member federations, in addition to associated federations England and Scotland, were in the German city for the 14th EHF Conference of Presidents.

The 80 presidents and representatives were joined by members of the EHF Executive Committee and invited guests, including the IHF President, Hassan Moustafa.

The Conference of Presidents provides a platform for the EHF to update the federations on its business since the last major event – in this case the EHF Congress in June 2018 – and is also for national federations to give feedback.

Topics on the agenda included not only updates on competitions issues such as the new international calendar and the expansion of the Women’s EHF EURO to 24 teams from 2024 but also a detailed overview of the new commercial partnership with Infront and DAZN and information on the development of a new ‘European Handball Master Plan’.

International calendar

The new format for the international playing calendar from the season 2020/21 was presented.

These changes, confirmed by the EHF Executive Committee in December 2018, include a new ‘appointment to view’ approach for club competitions, a rescheduling of national team weeks to provide a longer break for top players and new dates for the final club events at the end of the European club season.

Women’s EHF EURO with 24 teams

Following the decision in April 2019, that the Women’s EHF EURO will expand from 16 to 24 teams from 2024, additional information on the format event and additional measures to further strengthen and develop the women’s game and involve more nations in top competitions were presented.

Bidding for the event in 2024 has begun, with federations invited to provide a letter of interest in the event if they are considering a bid. More detailed bidding documents will be distributed from early July with a final decision by the EHF Executive Committee to be released following their meeting in December 2019.


Future of youth events

Based on the continual adaptation and improvement of the EHF’s competitions, and with the expansion of the IHF World Championship events from 24 teams to 32 from 2021, initial proposals based on inputs from the working group and Competitions Commission were presented. A final decision by the Executive Committee is expected in September 2019.

Officiating in the future

Information on the new approach by the EHF to officiating from 1 July 2019 was provided to federations.

These changes will see a further development of the functions of the EHF Competitions Department in the administration of the officiating system and will include the nomination of officials for club and national team matches.

Additionally, an expanded network of refereeing experts will be used for the different tasks in the evaluation of refereeing performance.

Beach handball

Chairman of the Beach Handball Commission, Ole Jørstad, provided an update on the 2019 beach handball season both in Europe and worldwide.

He also provided further information on the future perspectives on the sport’s inclusion in the Olympic Games from 2020 (demonstration sport) and with the target of its inclusion in the 2024 Games in Paris.

Additional the EHF’s plans to further develop the sport across Europe with the aim of involving more national federation in the beach version of the sport were outlined.



Marketing and media rights from 2020

Federations were provided with a detailed overview of the progress made with development of the commercial partnership between Infront, DAZN, the EHF and EHF Marketing GmbH by the EHF President, Michael Wiederer, and Secretary General, Martin Hausleitner.

The new contract, signed in May 2018 at last season’s VELUX EHF FINAL4, will commence in 2020 and run through to 2029/30.
Information on the structure of the partnership, internal coordination of the project as well as the planned investments on both club and national team levels were given.

Given that digital will play a key role in the new partnership, federations were also provided with an insight into initial proposals and ideas for a new digital strategy by DAZN’s Vice President of Rights Partnerships, Joe Edwards.

Development of a ‘European Handball Master Plan’

The conference concluded with a presentation from the EHF President, Michael Wiederer, on the development of a new strategic plan under the banner of the ‘European Handball Master Plan.

He provided the first results of a survey conducted with member federations and outlined the next steps in the process, which will include further stakeholder and fan surveys. A presentation of the final plan will take place at the next Conference of Presidents, scheduled to take place during the final weekend of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 in Stockholm in January 2020.

Looking to the future, Mr Wiederer, outlined the fact that whilst daily business of the federation needs to be competed, and the new contract has to be delivered, the EHF’s long-term objective is to  increase the value of the sport and the EHF’s properties through to 2027, when negotiations for a new contract period beyond 2030 will begin.

He stated that the federation’s aim would be to increase the value of the current contract (2020-2030) to in excess of one billion and for the EHF to become, in the terminology of the start-up world, a ‘unicorn’ business.


TEXT: EHF/jb
 
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