EHF Press release

EHF position on Champions League allegations

Vienna, 09.03.2009 – The European Handball Federation has, with great concern, taken note of the development of the accusations around German clubs and the EHF Champions League matches carried out over the past seasons.

The conflict between the German EHF Champions League participants regarding possible match manipulation through corruption by the referees over allegations and comments from the representatives of clubs involved was up until now, not brought before the EHF.

The EHF is deeply concerned about the manner and way in which the top product of club handball could be damaged. The EHF therefore, after a statement from the German League HBL made on Thursday of the previous week (during which the conflict to date developed), wanted clarification of the circumstances, immediately after a direction was made to the HBL for the surrender of information on Friday 06.03.2009.

Due to the fact that on the weekend, these accusations were voiced once again; the EHF represented by Secretary General Wiederer and club competitions responsible, Markus Glaser met with HBL, represented by President Reiner Witte and Managing Director Frank Bohman and arranged to work closely together to clarify the background of these allegations.

For the EHF – under implication of possible criminal proceedings in Germany – it is foreseen that the EHF internal legal system will concern themselves with this issue. Cases such as these, which do not come through direct reports from those responsible for the match or protests from the clubs, the “Initiator of Proceedings” will, on the basis of the available information, decide upon the initiating of a process.

As a starting point, as it stands, that after the 2007 EHF Champions League Final and up until today no suspicious facts for the incorrect execution of the match were presented. The nominated referees officiated, prior to and after the match in question, at numerous top matches for the EHF and received positive evaluation feedback.

The President of the European Handball Federation, Tor Lian, confronted with the statements from those representatives involved is profoundly concerned and has given notice to the consequent clarification and advanced measures:

“To the case in question, the responsible independent legal instance will apply itself and at its forthcoming meeting, the EHF Executive Committee will work on the key questions of the issue and with measures to be taken on the technical and organisational level of club competitions.”

Independent of the case in question, the EHF enables all possible undertakings to ensure both internally and externally the correctness of the competitions and especially the EHF Men’s Champions League as the top product.

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