Sandor Andorka leaves “an unfilled space behind”
Former member of the EHF Competitions Commission and top referee and delegate Sandor Andorka passed away on Thursday, aged 76. Andorka was a long-standing member of the handball community internationally and his own nation, Hungary.
Alongside his work contributing to handball across Europe in his capacity with the EHF, Andorka also had roles with the International Handball Federation and the Hungarian Handball Federation.
Reflecting his outstanding dedication and contribution to the continued development of handball, Andorka was among a select group of five people chosen as recipients of ‘The EHF Handball Award’ when the 20th anniversary of the European Handball Federation was celebrated in 2011. The award was given to Andorka along with four other officials who were influential in the early days of the EHF in 1991 and who remained active in the handball world at the point of the anniversary celebration.
In 2020, Andorka received the highest-level honour from the Hungarian Handball Federation: the Török Bódog lifetime achievement award.
As a referee, Andorka whistled almost 450 Hungarian league games, 10 Hungarian Cup finals and 297 international matches. Following his refereeing career, his various roles surrounding the training of referees as well as a position as match delegate saw him partake in 14 European Championships, two Olympic Games, eight World Championships and numerous European cup games.
Most recently, he served as chairman of the International Committee in the Hungarian Handball Federation, head of delegation for the national sides and sport diplomat.
“It is difficult to speak, as Hungarian handball suffered a huge loss,” said Secretary General of the Hungarian Handball Federation, Gabriella Horváth. “He has played a huge role in many of the Hungarian successes in the background in recent decades, including the fact that we won [the organisation of] the 2022 Men’s European Championship two and a half years ago in Glasgow, but Hungarian clubs and referees also owe a lot to him.
“He left an unfilled space behind, but he will stay here with us forever in the souls of the players in the sport.”