OFFICIAL STATEMENT: In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, European handball competitions for April and May will be postponed, with June offering at least a theoretical possibility for a re-start – in case the situation allows – according to an overview presented by the EHF
EHF presents feasibility study for potential re-start of European handball
The global spread of the coronavirus has cast the shadow of doubt on the immediate future of the 2019/20 European handball season.
In the light of the pandemic and with governmental measures to fight and contain the outbreak differing across Europe, there is no certainty when matches will resume.
Given this situation, the European Handball Federation has taken on its responsibility as the governing body of European handball and presented a competition plan for a potential re-start of the European handball season.
While it remains purely theoretical for the moment being, the plan foresees matches resuming at the beginning of June 2020.
“The current situation makes it impossible to play any handball competitions for the next weeks. It’s beyond any scope of thought,” said EHF President Michael Wiederer on Wednesday.
“There are currently much more important things to focus on than to discuss possibilities for handball matches. However, there are good reasons to develop alternative scenarios. This is what we have been working on.”
The scenario outlined sees no competitions organised under the umbrella of the EHF being played in April and May, with the first matches resuming in the first week of June.
“We are fully aware that the implementation of this scenario depends on the development of the situation around the coronavirus and related governmental decisions,” said Wiederer.
“The EHF will be utmost flexible and is ready to adapt should it become necessary. In addition to this, there is awareness for challenges arising which we will have to overcome in close cooperation with all stakeholders.
“By no means does the EHF wish to give the impression that it wants to push through a competition schedule.
“Rather on the contrary we have to make sure that after the crisis the sporting situation will be clear and, at the same time, a feasible plan will be developed to be potentially introduced in case of an improved situation,” said Wiederer.
For every week the competition plan also includes a latest date until which the matches can be cancelled by the EHF. The plan also includes procedures for further qualification based on sporting results achieved in rounds already completed.
Including internal coordination with the Professional Handball Board and the Women’s Handball Board, the following overview was presented and confirmed by the EHF Executive Committee in an extraordinary meeting, organised as video conference, on Wednesday.
Summary of the decisions of the EHF Executive Committee
Overview final tournaments
The EHF Marketing GmbH and its respective teams working on the events’ organisation are already preparing the full programme and all purchased tickets for the three events will remain valid.
Overview competition plan for June/July 2020
Week 1 (1 to 7 June)
The latest date for these matches to be cancelled by the EHF is 15 May 2020.
Week 2 (8 to 14 June)
Week 3 (15 to 21 June)
The latest date for these matches to be cancelled by the EHF is 29 May 2020.
Week 4 (22 to 28 June)
The latest date for these matches to be cancelled by the EHF is 5 June 2020.
Week 5 (29 June to 5 July)
Confirmation for these dates will be sought with the IHF. The latest date for these matches to be cancelled by the EHF is 12 June 2020.
“The European Handball Federation will continue to monitor the situation in the different countries and adapt accordingly,” concluded Michael Wiederer.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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