EXEC gathers in Ljubljana for final meeting in 2022NEWS: Following extension of younger age category events to 24 teams, Executive Committee confirms additional support for participants and organisers
The Executive Committee of the European Handball Federation has come together in Ljubljana on the occasion of the final weekend of the Women’s EHF EURO 2022, played in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro from 4-20 November.
It was the body’s final meeting in 2022 and a chance to look ahead as well as back as the year draws to a close.
Following the revamp of its younger age category competitions – confirmed by the EXEC in its September meeting – which will see 24 teams competing at the Men’s 18 and Men’s 20, respectively the Women’s 17 and Women’s 19 events as of 2024, additional key decisions for the competitions’ further development were made.
The EXEC confirmed that the EHF takes over the audio-visual rights as well as the marketing rights for these events as of 2024. On the audio-visual side this includes that the EHF takes over the responsibility of the production, distribution and marketing of the TV signal from all matches. When it comes to marketing rights, selected on-site rights will be retained by the host federation for their own matches, semi-finals and final.
Additional motions passed concerned the nomination of additional delegates for summer events as well as financial and marketing related topics concerning these events, granting extra support and for participants and organisers.
Women’s handball in focus
With the final matches of the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 being played on Friday and Sunday, the further development of women’s handball was also in the focus of the EXEC.
Over the weekend, the first women’s handball conference, entitled "Women’s Handball Forward", took place in Ljubljana. One topic was the extension of the Women’s EHF EURO to 24 teams as of 2024, but also measures to further support and develop women’s handball in Europe. Speakers from other sports as well as from business partners were invited and more than 120 representatives from federations, clubs and leagues were present.
The project idea to organise a "Women’s Handball Day" – a proposal of the Nations Committee Women – as promotion tool to highlight the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 during the first round of Qualifiers in October next year was given the green light. However, it was underlined that the EHF could only encourage but not mandate the participation.
Furthermore, and with reference to the report of the Anti-doping Unit, it was positively noted that all anti-doping tests conducted at the EHF EURO 2022 up until the final weekend turned out negative.
From the Technical Commissions
The EXEC took note of the successful organisation of the EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup in Porto Santo from 20-23 October. The cooperation with the Portuguese federation proved to be excellent and the conditions provided were on a proper level for an international sport event.
With this information at hand, the EXEC confirmed the extension of the hosting contract with the Portuguese federation for another two years, until 2024. The suggested dates for 2023 are 12-15 October 2023.
For the Methods Commission, the EXEC was informed about a variety of different activities. This included the 2022 EHF Master Coach Course of which the third and final module was concluded in Ljubljana from 7-12 November 2022.
The newly introduced webinars continue to be successful with more than 400 participants registering for the October edition which presented the French “BabyHand” project. For December, a webinar focusing on the 4-a-side and 6-a-side versions of wheelchair handball is scheduled.
Additional conclusions regarding wheelchair handball will be drawn following the end of the World and European Wheelchair Handball Championship which is currently played in Portugal (18-20 November).
The EXEC praised the efforts to organise a workshop for the head coaches of the 16 teams participating at the EHF EURO – the workshop, which was a first in many years, was appreciated by all participants.
As part of the meeting, the EXEC received various reports and meeting notes updating the body on the EHF’s and its stakeholders’ most recent activities.
This included the notes of the Finance Delegation, updating the EXEC on the budget of 2022 as well as previewing the budgets of 2023 and 2024.
As part of the overview of business activities it was positively noted that EHFTV, the EHF’s OTT platform, has passed the milestone of 400,000 registrations.
Additional reports included those of the legal department, the overall event report as well as the notes from the recent meetings of the EHF Marketing Advisory Board and the EHF Stakekholder groups (European Handball League Board, Nations Board, Nations Committee Men, Nations Committee Women, Professional Handball Board, Women’s Handball Board).
Furthermore, the EXEC took note of Friday’s meeting of the General Assembly of EHF Marketing, with a focus on the results, the business plan and the finances of the 2022/23 club handball season.
The meeting closed with an outlook to some of the EHF’s major events in 2023.
Information on the follow-up process for the Conference of Presidents and the Extraordinary Congress, which took place in Luxembourg in September, was given and the timeline towards the 16th Ordinary EHF Congress, which will take place on 14/15 September 2023 in Basel, Switzerland, was discussed.
The next edition of the EHF Scientific Conference will be organised in Porto on 23/24 November 2023. The main topic is: Sustainability in handball – Circle of a handball life.
Special focus was also put on the EHF’s ‘European Players of the Year’ project. With the voting concept finalised, the focus is currently on the development of the event concept and the overall brand. The working title is “Excellence” under which the project shall be presented. The awarding ceremony and the gala event will take place on 26 June in Vienna’s City hall.
The next meeting of the Executive Committee will take place on 28 January 2023 in Stockholm.