Inside the EHF

EHF Congress 2021 as it happened

EHF Logo 100 European Handball Federation
  • 15th EHF Congress was held in Vienna across Friday and Saturday
  • Michael Wiederer confirmed as EHF President for 2021-2025
  • New Executive Committee members confirmed
  • 53 positions filled from 139 nominations from 38 federations
  • Panos Antoniou, Jerzy Eliasz and Ole R. Jorstad receive honorary memberships
  • Motions were also filed on Friday
  • All times CEST


And that, dear handball friends, is that. The congress is over and that concludes our coverage.

If you've missed anything we've got you covered. Across eurohandball.com and our social media platforms you can read everything that has been said and decided.

We're off to get ready for today's EHF European Cup Men semi-final second legs.


The photographs below show three of the heroes from this congress, moments after they are made honorary members of the EHF. 

Try telling anyone this doesn't matter. Just look at what it means to them. 


While the congress is officially closed, it doesn't mean the work is over. Oh no no no. Now it's time to talk and get the work started for the next four years. Various committees and boards will now together to discuss the future within their respective groups.


The curtain comes down on the 15th EHF Congress with the closing words from the President.

“I don’t know what to say after a congress that has answered most of the questions but we have managed to have a congress organised in a short time and have many people in Vienna,” says Wiederer.

“This congress has elected members for the next four upcoming years; motions were presented, discussed and launched. This means we have a sound basis for our work for the next four years. We know our tasks and we know what we need to do.

“I really do hope we can soon meet somewhere in a sports hall or at the beach. For this, I wish you all a safe trip home and wish you well in working within your federations and EHF commissions.”


It is time to award the three honorary memberships.

First up is Panos Antoniou, the out-going President of the EHF Court of Handball.

The room rises to its feet to toast Panos, who then delivers a short and emotion speech.

“You have to wish that you will have a long journey. Because it is not about the destination, it is about the journey,” he says.

Out-going Methods Commission chairman Jerzy Eliasz then receives his honorary membership from the EHF’s Helmut Höritsch.

The final membership is awarded to Ole R. Jorstad, the out-going chairman of the Beach Handball Commission.

Presenting the membership, Secretary General Martin Hausleitner praises the Norwegian’s work in developing beach handball.

Jorstad says: “Since 1994 I too have been on a journey. And I have enjoyed every moment as a guest in your federation and in your country. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you all.”


President Michael Wiederer takes to the stage to present a special fair play award to the Netherlands.

The Dutch received the award - the first of its kind - for their conduct at the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 when they were required to play three matches in four days following the rescheduling of their opening match against Serbia

“To have adapted to this situation and to not cause any additional troubles to the EHF and the local organisers is commendable,” said the President.


We begin the awards ceremony with the top federations over the past three years recognised for their achievements on the courts of Europe.

2018 Top Nation – France

2019 Top Nation – Denmark

2020 Top Nation - Norway

Spain then receive an award for Top Nation in beach handball across 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Bulgaria, Montenegro and Slovenia then receive awards for their efforts in organising three or more events 


Budget overview from Henrik La Cour throws off the start of the day two, with the Executive Committee member detailing the financial and budget overviews.

Attention then turns to the awarding of the 2023 Ordinary Conference.

Jürgen Krucker, Managing Director at the Swiss Handball Federation, takes to the stage to outline their proposal to host the Ordinary Conference in two years’ time… which gets the green light to host the event in Basel.


Good morning handball world.

We're live and back for more on day two of the EHF Congress 2021.

What's on the agenda today? You can find out all you need to know in the news story below.

Those who don't want to read it - that's fine - but given we're ahead of schedule, today focuses on awards, the selection of honorary members and the awarding of the next Ordinary Congress in 2021.


So that's all we've got time for today but don't forget we're back on Saturday morning bright and early for day two of this EHF Congress here in Vienna.

If you've been following the coverage live: thank you.

Have a good evening whatever you're up to and see you all tomorrow.


Remember the elections earlier? Given the fact it's been a whirlwind first day here in Vienna, we can't blame you if you have. 

For a complete rundown of who was elected take a quick peek at the news story below, which is a who's who of everyone who was voted on the respective boards and commissions.


And that's a wrap from the motions today and indeed completes day one of the 15th EHF Congress. 

After a busy day, EHF President Michael Wiederer thanks the congress for their patience and looks ahead to Saturday which will see a number of awards plus the destination of the Ordinary Congress in 2023.


The Norwegian Handball Federation has put forward a number of motions promoting gender equality issues, and one such motion regarding the EHF Beach Handball Regulations concerned the requirements of female athletes’ uniforms in official competitions, was heard.

The Norwegian Handball Federation said the current uniform in female beach handball competitions constitutes a barrier and limits the access to the sport beach handball.

After a long discussion it was agreed that the motion will be transferred to the newly elected Beach Handball Commission. The commission will work on a concept to approach this matter which will subsequently be tabled to the EHF Executive Committee which will then deal further with this matter.


We're half-way through the list of 13 motions - and you can find out the final decisions on those heard so far by clicking here.


Want to know more about the motions? We've got you covered. Click on our helpful news article below to get the full picture. 

The first motion was passed, by the way - a name change. It means the Court of Arbitration is now officially known as the European Handball Court of Arbitration.


That is that for today - from an election point of view, anyway.

We've finished a little earlier than planned but that means attention can now turn to the motions.


Followed swiftly by six new members of the Nations Committee Women who are – drum roll please…

Nodjialem Myaro, Leonor Mallozi, Paola Fiorillo, Pirje Orasson, Sarka Drozdova and Cristina Varzaru.


Michael Wiederer and Martin Hausleitner, together with Nicolae Vizitiu of Moldova (centre), signed the SMART programme agreement during a break in today's congress.

Meanwhile, following an intense round of voting, six members were elected to the Nations Committee Men.

Our hearty congratulations go to Morten Stig Christensen, Ingo Meckes, Jari Henttonen, Fintan Lyons, Mark Schober and Bertrand Gille.


And, dear handball friends, we're back - and we're throwing off the final part of today's election with voting for the EHF Nations Committee Men.


Phew. That's the first part of the elections done and there's a lot to digest. But fear not. We'll have a full rundown of who was elected online later. 

We'll be right back after a short coffee so don't go away.


Congratulations to Michael Wiederer on his re-election from the Spanish federation's Paco Blázquez García, who's here in Vienna and was himself elected to the Executive Committee.

On to the next… the EHF Court of Arbitration Council has a new President in the shape of Giorgio Tedesco and he'll supported by a new Vice-President, Remy Levy. Good luck to you both.


Now to the elections for the EHF Court of Appeal, which sees Markus Plazer of Austria re-elected for a second term. Nicolae Vizitu was installed as Vice-Chairman while a further five new faces were added to the court.
Congratulations in order to Ketevan Koberidze, Ilona Tordai, Izet Gjinovci, Robert Czaplicki and Milan Petronijevic.


The new President of the EHF Court of Handball was revealed as Ioannis Karanasos with the Greek replacing replacing Panos Antoniou.

Two vice-presidents were also elected, Andreas Thiel and Sorin-Laurentiu Dinu, while six new members joined the court, too, as Matea Horvat, Urmo Sitsi, Shlomo Cohen, Alan Grima, André Hommen and Yvonne Leuthold all elected in.


In the Beach Handball Commission elections, the process to elect the member for Events and Competitions went to a third round of voting where eventually Marek Goralczyk was elected.

Joining Marek on the Beach Handball Commission are:

Officiating – Jiri Opava
Game Design and Coaching – Marco Trespidi (former Events & Competitions member)
Development and Promotion – Mario Bernardes 


Attention now turns to the Methods Commission where we welcome four new members to the commission in the following functions.

Methods and Coaching – Monique Tijsterman
Education and Training – Patrick Luig
Youth, School Sports, and Non-competitive Sports – Lidija Bojic-Cacic
Member development – Maria Carmen Manchado Lopez


If you're asking us who has brought the most smiles to our faces so far today, then it's this man:

Former EHF President Jean Brihault was in an entertaining mood as he moderated the new positions within the Executive Committee. Michael Wiederer was quick to thank him for his light-hearted approach to the process.


Next on our list are elections within the Competitions Commission, which saw the following candidates elected:

Member Men’s competitions: Jan Kampmann (DEN)
Member Women’s competitions: Diana Box Alonso (ESP)
Member refereeing: Dragan Nachevski (MKD)


So say hello to Stefan Lövgren of Sweden, Francisco V. Blazquez Garcia of Spain and Franjo Bobinac of Slovenia as new members of the EHF Executive Committee. Congratulations to the three of you.

After a motion for gender representation on the EXEC was passed, an additional representative, Bente Aksnes from Norway, was also voted in.


There's a new face at the top of the EHF Beach Handball Commission as Gabriella Horvath is elected to be chairperson, replacing the out-going Ole R. Jorstad.

And the same is said of the Methods Commission as Pedro Sequiera gets the green light to take over from Jerzy Eliasz.


Several more elections have been rubber-stamped in the past few minutes.

1st Vice President - Predrag Boskovic 
Chairperson Competitions Commission - Bozidar Djurkovic 
Vice President Finances - Henrik La Cour 


Michael Wiederer remains at the helm of the EHF as President.

The president began his short acceptance speech by quoting from Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Coriolanus’.

“When the sea was calm, all boats alike; showed mastership in floating,” says Wiederer. “The quote says that everything is sometimes easy but here, now, in these complex times that we face, that’s a bit different and that’s how we are approaching this. Thank you for the support for the upcoming four years.”


It's 14:00 CEST in Vienna ladies and gentleman and it's time for the elections. A new President and new members of the EHF Executive Committee will be among the big decisions coming over the next few hours. 

For a full rundown of who is standing for what, read our helpful story below.


What's coming up this afternoon? We have got a whole host of elections coming up, that's what.

Here's precisely what the next four hours looks like here in Vienna:



Just before the race break for lunch, an update on the EHF Master Plan from JJ Rowland, who tells room that five new goals regarding the Master Plan have been finalised.

What they are - and if you're also wondering what the Master Plan is - you can read all about it in the document below. How's that for some lunchtime reading? 

We'll back soon for the afternoon session with the start of the most exciting part of the day: the elections. So stay tuned.


We've also heard from the Men's Nations Board, the Women's Handball Board as well as the finance report overview from Henrik La Cour, Vice-President Finances. Remember, if you want to read more about all of these activities, you can do so by simply clicking here.


There's not a dry eye in the room as Panos Antoniou, President of the EHF Court of Handball, says his thanks and goodbyes in an emotional speech updating the congress on the work done in this past electoral cycle. Thank you for everything, Panos.


Beach handball is now up and Beach Commission Chairman Ole R. Jorstad gives a passionate speech on what is his last day as Chairman of the commission.

The Norwegian reflected on the difficulties beach handball faced last summer with the cancellation of events but looked ahead to 2021 season which will include the EHF Beach Handball EURO in Bulgaria.

Jorstad highlighted the hard work behind-the-scenes that have helped develop the sport over the past five years, including the important news that beach handball will be played in the European Games in 2023 for the very first time.


Jerzy Eliasz takes to the stand to give an update from the Methods Commission, which has enjoyed a particularly busy and successful electoral cycle.

Among the many, many topics and projects that fall under the Methods Commission's remit, Eliasz paid tribute to their work in the RINCK Convention, wheelchair handball, technology and grassroots. 

"Grassroots is a very important and popular topic not just to us but for the whole EHF," said Eliasz. 



It's reports time. And that means we get the latest updates from the President, Secretary General, the Executive Committee plus the following commissions.

  • the Competitions Commission
  • the Methods Commission
  • the Beach Handball Commission
  • the EHF Court of Handball
  • the EHF Court of Appeal
  • the EHF Court of Arbitration Council
  • the Nations Board Men
  • the Women’s Handball Board
  • the Comptrollers

All of the commissions' reports can be read inside a brochure, which was published especially for this congress. Want to read it? You can - just click on the article below. There's a host of interesting updates covering a broad range of topics.


Malta in the house! Nice to have you with us, as always.


In total 41 European federations are in Vienna - with a number also watching from home. Among those in the Austrian capital is the President of the Spanish handball federation.

Paco Blázquez García has tweeted: "We started the Congress in Vienna. Two days of intense work to lay the foundations for the future of handball throughout Europe, with the aim that our sport continues to grow and be a reference."


For a full in-depth look at what to expect today, take a look at the news article below. The headline facts is that today 139 nominations have been received for the 53 positions that can be voted for in today's elections. 


Among the opening speeches, there have been some kind words from IHF President Hassan Moustafa and from Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, who both sing the praises of the organisation of the EHF's recent tournaments, including the Women's EHF EURO 2020.


We're underway in Vienna with some opening words from EHF President who says, inside a room which is socially distanced, "that although we are apart in the room it feels that there is not much distance between us. It's important that people wanted to meet and talk to each other again."


Good morning and welcome to Vienna. It's day one of the 15th EHF Congress and to say today is a busy and important day in the future of European handball is an understatement. A host of decisions will be made over the next eight hours, including the election of a new EHF President at approximately 14:00 CEST.

We'll be covering everything live as it happens with breaking news of all election results as well as quotes from the people that matter most. We're also producing content across social media so if you are too and you'd like to get involved, use the hashtag #ehfcongress.

Here's what's on the menu today...

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