The Executive Committee of the European Handball Federation has decided on the further rundown of the current European handball season
Information on the future of the European handball season 2019/20
The EHF Executive Committee in a video conference on Friday has taken a series of decisions regarding the further rundown of the European handball season, concluding that no matches can take place in June and that a number of competitions have to be either postponed or cancelled.
The decisions were made in the light of COVID-19 pandemic after intensive monitoring of the current situation, including the analysis of governmental measures such as travel restrictions and bans of major events.
Furthermore, over the past two weeks procedures have been discussed and consultations took place with all stakeholders of the EHF, the respective boards such the Nations Board, the Professional Handball Board, the Women’s Handball Board and the Men’s and Women’s Club Boards, as well as the International Handball Federation.
Basis for the procedure and the subsequent decisions was the EHF’s feasibility study which had been confirmed by the Executive Committee in March, granting the mandate to amend the 2019/20 as well as the 2020/21 calendar and also outlining qualification criteria should it not be possible to resume the season in June.
The overarching aim was to finish the 2019/20 season in the best possible way, while at the same time build the foundation to start the 2020/21 season in a structured way with the least impact possible from the current season. It was kept in mind that all handball stakeholders will face a challenging next competition and economic cycle.
EHF Executive Committee decisions on competition matters:
VELUX EHF Champions League
The possibility was checked to have the remaining knock-out rounds played in autumn 2020. However, in the light of the dense calendar in men’s handball and the EHF’s new media and marketing agreement from next season onwards with potentially different media and marketing partners, this was not deemed feasible.
DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League
MEN’S EHF Cup
Women’s EHF Cup, Challenge Cup
Women’s EHF EURO 2020
Men’s World Championship 2021 Play-offs Europe
Younger age category tournaments
In close coordination with the International Handball Federation, and their approach to the Women's 18 and Women's 20 World Championships, the EHF will postpone this summer's Younger Age Category events.
Men's EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers / Olympic Qualification Tournaments
A central part of the discussions on the level of the Nations Board, Professional Handball Board and Women's Handball Board during video conferences on 23 April, as well as during the EXEC meeting, was the harmonisation of the European calendar with the men's and women's Olympic Qualification Tournaments to be scheduled by the IHF for spring 2021.
The Executive Committee approved the draft proposal for the men's matches. This proposal will not add an additional team week in order not to overload the existing competition schedule.
As a consequence, the six European teams playing the Olympic qualification (Germany, France, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden) will play their respective EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers, instead of during the week of the Olympic Qualification Tournaments, now in the period from 6 to 9 January 2021, an already existing national team week in the calendar.
The EHF will develop the details prior to the draw for the EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers which will take place on 16 June 2020.
For the women's Olympic Qualification Tournaments a national team week in spring is available.
Final decisions on the Olympic qualification are within the responsibility of the IHF and all respective information will be issued by the IHF after coordination with the IOC.
Open letter by the EHF President
Parallel to the decisions of the EHF Executive Committee, EHF President Michael Wiederer in an open letter addressed the National Federations of Europe and their leadership.
This outlined the basic conditions for the decisions as well as the parameters and the monitoring process.
In addition to the changes on the competition level, the National Federations were informed on the procedures for an adapted project planning in the frame of the Master Plan in order to maintain handball activities and to support further development.
The letter is available for download.
Further decisions taken by the EHF Executive Committee in its Friday meeting will be communicated at the beginning of next week.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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