EXEC awards EHF Beach Handball EURO, cancels ‘away-goals’ ruleNEWS: The EHF Executive Committee has taken some key decisions for the upcoming seasons at its meeting in Ljubljana
The Executive Committee of the European Handball Federation has met in Ljubljana on Thursday, the day of the final tournament draw for the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 which also takes place in the Slovenian capital.
The Ljubljana meeting was the body’s first since the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia in January and its second-to-last in the 2021/22 season as the final session is planned at the EHF FINAL4 Men in Cologne in June.
While the review of January’s EHF European Championship and of the EHF’s most recent activities formed part of the meeting, the Executive Committee also made several decisions for the upcoming seasons.
- The EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023 has been awarded to Portugal. In its decision, the EXEC highlighted the experience of the Portuguese federation as organisers as well as the promising beach handball infrastructure at the proposed venue in Nazaré. The EHF Beach Handball EURO is scheduled from 23 to 28 May 2023 and serves as qualification event for the 2023 European Games.
- The EHF YAC17 Beach Handball EURO 2023, scheduled from 29 June to 2 July, has been awarded to Turkey and will take place in Izmir.
- The EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2022 will be played on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo (Madeira) in October. The EXEC awarded the event for this year with the option for a two-year extension of the hosting rights.
- The EHF EXEC Committee gave the mandate to further analyse an adaptation of the Youngr Age Category events with the direction of a EHF EURO events with 24 teams, including a concept for the surrounding conditions such as the structure for the EHF Championships, qualification and relegation as well as financial topics. A final decision is supposed to take place at the EXEC’s June meeting to be implemented as of 2024.
- Following an initiative and a corresponding motion from the Competitions Commission, the EXEC confirmed the cancellation of the ‘away-goals rule’ in all EHF club and national team competitions as of the 2022/23 season. In case the goal difference is equal after two knockout phase matches, the game will be decided by penalties instead.
- Subject to additional financial support coming from the International Handball Federation, the EXEC awarded the 2022 World & European Wheelchair Handball Championship to Portugal. The event is scheduled to be organised in Leiria from 15 to 21 November 2022.
- The Methods Commission’s proposal for the further gradual rollout of the coaches licensing system in EHF competitions until 2030 was confirmed.
- The prolongation of the EHF’s involvement in the EU initiative “European Week of Sport” was confirmed.
Men’s EHF EURO 2022 review
EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner presented a report on the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia providing a summary of key findings from the detailed post-event analysis.
Hausleitner underlined that the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 set a new benchmark for future events with more fans engaging with top class international handball than ever before. Quite an achievement for an event, which – thanks to a dramatic surge in Omicron coronavirus infections across Europe in early 2022 – provided one of the biggest organisational challenges for the EHF in its history.
In what was the first major EHF national team event to be organised under the 10-year contract with Infront and DAZN Group, an increased focus on digital channels and content production paid dividends. Reach was up 82% on the 2020 edition, with 420M people seeing championship related content across digital channels and the EHF increasing its followers by 112%.
Media numbers also remained positive: broadcast time grew by over 40% and a cumulative audience of over 1 billion followed the action and news reports from Hungary and Slovakia.
European Handball Master Plan
The Handball Federations of Georgia, Malta and Latvia will be the first which will see national developments projects realised under the umbrella of the EHF’s master plan. Based on their applications and detailed information provided, meetings had been held to discuss the federations’ needs and plans. Following these meetings, additional tailor-made master plan projects were submitted. With the information at hand, the Executive Committee approved the funding.
March & April meetings
The EXEC was informed about various stakeholder, board and commission meetings which took place in March and April. Those included the Conference for Secretaries General in Berlin in March as well as the meetings of the Finance Delegation, the EHF’s Technical Commissions, the Nations Committee for men and women, the Professional and the Women’s Handball Board as well as the legal bodies. The information presented in the respective notes was discussed.
Updates were received on the final accounting for 2021 as well as on the EHF’s 2022 budget. The EXEC was informed of the current progress for the new EHF office building which is scheduled to be completed in 2024. It also received the latest legal and anti-doping report.
EHF Marketing GmbH
The EXEC received an update on EHF Marketing’s business year 2021/22 including an overview of the current season, which has been successfully implemented so far. An outlook was also given to the EHF FINAL4 events for men and women in Budapest and Cologne, as well as the Women’s EHL F4 in Viborg, which are expected to be played in front of full-capacity stands again for the first time since 2019.
International Handball Federation
With reference to the notes of the IHF Council meeting in March, the EXEC was informed – among other topics – about the amendments to the “Regulations for Players’ Agents” which will come into effect on 1 July.
Conference of Presidents & Extraordinary Congress
The EXEC meeting was closed with an outlook to the Conference of Presidents which is scheduled to take place in Luxembourg on 24 September 2022. A motion was accepted to hold an Extraordinary Congress on the occasion which is set to deal with findings on the field of legal activities as well as with the question of the evaluation of candidates for future elections. The EXEC approved a motion of having English as the only language at an EHF Congress, based on the experience of previous conferences.
In line with the planned summer activities, the task distribution for the EXEC members was approved. The next meeting will take place in Cologne on the occasion of the EHF FINAL4 Men.