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Inside the EHF

Executive Committee gathers for final meeting of 2019/20 season

EHF/ts

Including an extraordinary meeting, it was the third consecutive time that the EXEC came together via video conference as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic remain tangible across Europe.

The meeting took place four days after Monday’s meetings of the Finance Delegation as well as of the EHF Marketing Advisory Board, and the Executive Committee was presented with a detailed plan on a variety of support measures for the EHF’s Member Federations to lessen the pandemic’s impact.

With the information at hand, the Executive Committee approved a range of measures, including significant financial support, both in the direction of immediate payments as well as liquidity help, for the federations.

In addition, the main initiatives of the strategic plan ‘Back in the Game – Growing Handball’ have been approved, including a platform which gives federations access to competition footage, concepts and more.

In accordance with this, the Master Plan for European Handball has been adapted, with a new phase 1, ‘Back to Handball’, being added, followed by phase 2, ‘Back in the game – Growing handball’.

First-hand information will be given to all EHF Member Federations when the Conference for Secretaries General together with the European Handball Convention takes place from 17 to 19 September in Vienna.

Additional information was given to the Executive Committee on the EHF’s new brand identity including its fresh approach to logo design which has already partly been revealed over the past days.

Furthermore, the Executive Committee was updated by Secretary General Martin Hausleitner on latest developments and projects within the EHF Office.

1) YAC competitions in January 2021

The EHF Executive Committee received an update on the seven Younger Age Category events in 2020, initially scheduled for July and August. As an effect of the pandemic the events were postponed to January 2021 and for legal reasons the existing contracts with the organisers had to be cancelled and set-up again in new form.

Six of the seven organisers have confirmed their willingness to also stage their respective event in January.

  • The Men’s 18 EHF EURO will take place in Slovenia from 14 to 24 January 2021
  • The Men’s 18 EHF Championships will take place in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro from 25 to 31 January 2021
  • The Men’s 20 EHF Championships will take place in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Latvia from 8 to 17 January

The Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2020 will not take place in Austria and Italy any longer and a new bidding process had been initiated.

Bids from Croatia, Israel and Italy were received and after careful evaluation the event was awarded to Croatia which was a candidate in the original bidding process already. The event will be played in Porec from 7 to 17 January 2021.

In the wake of these decisions, the EXEC also confirmed that the abovementioned YAC events will be played in the age group of 2002 and younger for the M18 events and in the age group of 2000 and younger for the M20 events.

Furthermore, a request from the Bulgarian Handball Federation to change the venue from Burgas to Varna was confirmed.

2) Information on the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 2020

Following the continuous and careful analysis of the global health situation and while underlining that the teams’ and players’ health and safety have the highest priority, it was announced that the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 2020 will be cancelled.

The event was scheduled to take place from 3 to 6 September in Budapest, Hungary, and would have also included the 2019/20 season’s quarter-finals. The decision was confirmed by the EHF Executive Committee. At the same time, the EXEC underlined that additional measures should be taken to promote women’s handball in the 2020/21 season. [more info]

3) Event status update

The Executive Committee discussed in detail the status of various events scheduled to take place in autumn. The decision was made that the European Wheelchair Handball Championships, scheduled from 18 to 23 November 2020 in Kristianstad, Sweden, would not be held.

Emphasis was laid on the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 in Norway and Denmark. A workshop with the organisers took place on 23 June at which it was agreed that cost-reducing measures, including a potential reduction of venues, would be evaluated.

Furthermore, the EXEC confirmed that the existing agreement with Infront for this EHF EURO shall be fulfilled and that ideally a solution within the area of the two organisers is to be found. The EHF and the organisers share the opinion that the staging of a flagship event such as the EHF EURO is of utmost importance for the women’s handball.

4) Additional motions from the EHF’s Commissions

The Executive Committee received the reports and activity updates from the Competitions, Methods and Beach Handball Commission and subsequently dealt with a range of corresponding motions.

4.1) Place distribution for the 2021/22 season

The place distribution for the EHF’s club competitions in the 2021/22 season including an amended system how to award points for the 2019/20 season, which could not be finished, was presented to EXEC and approved.

4.2) Additional registrations for the EHF European Cup Men and Women

In order to strengthen the return to handball in Europe, the EXEC approved a motion that allows federations ranked 19th and lower to register one additional team (four instead of three) for the EHF European Cup Men and Women in the 2020/21 season as long as there are free places available.

4.3) Cooperation with the European Week of Sport

A motion by the Methods Commission to prolong the existing cooperation with the European Union regarding the European Week of Sport was confirmed. The European Week of Sport will be organised from 23 to 30 September 2020. This edition will be organised under the hashtag #stayactiveathome.

4.4) Players’ registration and club licensing in beach handball

The EXEC gave a mandate to the Beach Handball Commission to develop a registration for beach handball players and a licensing of beach handball clubs in Europe. Consequently, every National Federation can implement a licensing and registration system for beach handball players and clubs within its structure. The condition for the registration is that one player can be registered for two different clubs for both, indoor and beach handball, within one National Federation or a different nation. The planned deadline for this implementation is September 2022.

5) European Masters Championships for men and women in Granollers

With a letter of support from the Spanish Handball Federation at hand, the Executive Committee confirmed that the next edition of the European Masters Championships, initially scheduled from 18 to 21 June in Granollers, Spain, will again be awarded to the club BM. Granollers and will now take place from 16 to 20 June 2021.

6) David Szlezak stays at the helm of EHF Marketing GmbH

David Szlezak will stay as Managing Director at the helm of EHF Marketing GmbH for another four years until 30 June 2024. The EHF Executive Committee confirmed the prolongation of Szlezak’s contract who has held the position since 2016. [more info]

7) IHF Online Symposium

The EXEC took note of and promoted the first Online Symposium organised by the International Handball Federation, taking place from 26 June to 25 July 2020 with a range of European top coaches and referees participating.

8) Media and marketing partnership with Infront and DAZN

With the 10-year exclusive media and marketing partnership with Infront and DAZN officially starting on 1 July, the EXEC took note of the latest information from the Strategy and Steering Board meeting on 10 June, including a finance overview as well as updates on media and marketing sales, digital, post-production, live productions and media operations.

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