EHF and DHF hail safe and successful Women’s EHF EURO 2020
The European Handball Federation and the Danish Handball Federation (DHF) have paid tribute to the lengths made by all stakeholders to ensure that the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 was not just a safe tournament but a successful one.
EHF President Michael Wiederer congratulated the DHF for taking on the challenging role of sole hosts, which saw matches played across two venues in Herning and Kolding.
The President’s thoughts were echoed by Morten Stig Christensen, Secretary General of the DHF. The Danish federation, together with the EHF, helped oversee 6,000 Covid-19 PCR tests of players and officials involved in the tournament. Approximately 600 people, including all 16 teams, were placed inside a safe red ‘bubble’ as part of the EHF’s hygiene protocol.
EHF President Michael Wiederer said: “After almost a year of in-depth planning and preparation – including unprecedented crisis project management – we are delighted that we were able to play the 14th edition of the Women’s EHF EURO.
“The most important aspect was creating and maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for teams and officials. With our strict protocols in place, we were able to minimise the threat of the virus with three positive cases out of 6,000. Those cases now date back two weeks and on the final day of the championship, I dare to say that the hygiene concept, which was put in place, can be hailed a tremendous success.
“However, without the outstanding efforts and experience of our friends at the Danish Handball Federation, we simply would not have been able to have a tournament to enjoy. Their dedication, enthusiasm and, above all, flexibility, has shone through even during the toughest times in the months leading up to the start of the competition.”
Morten Stig Christensen, Secretary General of the Danish Handball Federation, said: “Three weeks ago, I wouldn’t believe it if anyone told me what a great success this championship would be. To play the tournament in such exceptional and demanding circumstances was tough for everyone involved, but thanks to great teamwork, patience and hard work, from all shareholders we were able to play a tournament in a safe and healthy environment and also able to deliver a great event to handball fans all over the world. It was not easy, but we did it.”
Interest in women’s handball on the up
While no fans were allowed into the arena once action on court got under way, it did not stop huge numbers of supporters backing their teams in front of their televisions at home.
This was especially the case in Denmark, as the team’s run to the semi-final really caught the imagination of the public with every Danish match watched by at least a 50 per cent share of the TV audience.
To help bring fans watching at home closer to the event, extended efforts were made to increase digital and social media output during the championship. This included the introduction of a mobile phone game – downloaded almost 10,000 times – and an official podcast, which recorded over 30,000 plays.
The high levels of content production on social media were rewarded with significant community growth and engagement with video views across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube close to 5 million prior to Sunday’s final.
One astonishing highlight came on TikTok, where one video became a viral sensation, and had been viewed almost 8 million times and counting as of the morning of the final.