EHF

EHF Executive Committee meets in Spain

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While Europe’s best handball players have already started playing again in the club competitions 2021/22, the EHF Executive Committee gathered for the first time this season, with its members meeting in Torrevieja, Spain, on Friday.

The meeting was organised by EXEC Member and President of the Spanish Handball Federation, Francisco V. Blàzquez Garcia, and upon arrival the Executive Committee was welcomed by Torrivieja mayor Eduardo Dolón and sports council representative Diana Box, both former top-level handball players.

The session in Spain followed meetings of the EHF’s Finance Delegation, the EURO Delegation and the EHF Marketing Advisory Board earlier in September as well as of the EHF’s Technical Commissions which had come together at the end of August.

With the relevant information and the notes from these meetings at hand, the Executive Committee reached several decisions.

Additional share for federations

The EXEC received an EHF budget update for 2021 and 2022 as well as the information that the final calculation for the EHF EURO events in 2020 has been completed. It was subsequently confirmed that an additional share can be paid to the federations which participated in the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 as well as to those currently participating in the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers.

EHF EURO bids for 2026 and 2028

The EHF Executive Committee received an update on the current preparations for the next two upcoming EHF EURO events in 2022 as well as an overview on the current status of the EHF EURO bids for 2026 and 2028. With seven nations bidding for the national team flagship events, several site visits took place over the summers.

Based on the information available, the bids including the venues as listed below have been assigned to the EHF Congress for awarding. The awarding is scheduled to take place at the Extraordinary Congress on 20 November in Vienna.

Denmark/Sweden/Norway – bidding for the Men’s EHF EUROs in 2026 and 2028

A venue system with three preliminary round venues, two main round venues and one final weekend venue is foreseen.

  • Royal Arena Copenhagen (spectator capacity 12,000; PR, MR, FW)
  • Jyske Bank Boxen Herning (spectator capacity 15,000; PR, MR, FW)
  • Ceres Arena Aarhus (spectator capacity 5,000; PR)
  • Kristianstad Arena (spectator capacity 4,800; PR, MR)
  • Malmö Arena (spectator capacity 13,000; PR, MR)
  • DNB Arena Stavanger (spectator capacity 5,077; PR)
  • Trondheim Spektrum (spectator capacity 8,600; PR)
  • Bergen Byarena (spectator capacity 11,000; PR)
  • Nye Fornebu, Oslo – a detailed construction concept including drawings has provided regarding the arena. (Targeted spectator capacity: 15,000; PR)

The bid including the venues as listed has been assigned to the EHF Congress for awarding.

Spain/Portugal – bidding for the Men’s EHF EURO 2028

  • WiZink Center Madrid (spectator capacity 12,900; PR, MR, FW)
  • Altice Arena – Lisboa (spectator capacity 12,800; PR, MR)
  • Casal Espana Arena de Valencia: this is new construction site; basic details are available, more information to be collected (spectator capacity 14,000; PR)
  • Pazo dos Deportes Paco Paz Palau St Jordi in Barcelona for almost 18,000 spectators (spectator capacity 18,000; FW)
  • Wanda Stadium, Madrid: as an alternative for an opening match or a final weekend in a football stadium (spectator capacity 68,000; FW)

The EHF Executive Committee assigned the ESP/POR bid for Congress awarding with the venues listed and conditioned on the confirmation of the newly provided venue proposals.

Switzerland – bidding for the Men’s EHF EUROs in 2026 and 2028

  • Hallenstadion Zürich (spectator capacity 11,200; PR, MR)
  • Swisslife Arena Zürich (spectator capacity 12,000; PR, MR)
  • Vaudoise Arena Lausanne (spectator capacity 9,700; PR, MR)
  • St Jakobshalle Basel (spectator capacity 9,000; PR)
  • Palexpo Geneva (spectator capacity 18,000; FW)

The bid including the venues as listed has been assigned to the EHF Congress for awarding.

Russia – bidding for the Women’s EHF EURO 2026

  • Yubileyny Sports Place in St. Petersburg (spectator capacity 6,500; PR)
  • Sibur Arena St Petersburg in St. Petersburg (spectator capacity 6,500; PR, MR)
  • VTB Arena Moscow (spectator capacity 12,000; MR, FW)

The bid including the venues as listed has been assigned to the EHF Congress for awarding.

Norway/Denmark/Sweden – bidding for the Women’s EHF EUROs in 2026 and 2028

The Scandinavian bid for the women’s events (similar to the ones for the men’s, but with a different responsibility) offers a selection of venues as a basis for further definition in coordination with the EHF. A venue system with three preliminary round venues, two main round venues and one final weekend venue is foreseen.

  • DNB Arena Stavanger (spectator capacity 5,100; PR)
  • Trondheim Spektrum (spectator capacity 8,600; PR)
  • Bergen Byarena (spectator capacity 11,000; PR)
  • Nye Fornebu, Oslo – a detailed construction concept including drawings was provided regarding the arena. (Targeted spectator capacity: 15,000; PR, MR, FW)
  • Royal Arena Copenhagen (spectator capacity 12,000; PR, MR)
  • Jyske Bank Boxen Herning (spectator capacity 15,000; PR, MR)
  • Ceres Arena Aarhus (spectator capacity 5,000; PR)
  • Helsingborg Arena (spectator capacity 4,650; PR)
  • Gothenburg Scandinavium (spectator capacity 12,000; PR)

The bid including the venues as listed has been assigned to the EHF Congress for awarding.

Playing dates for the four events are as follows

  • Men’s EHF EURO 2026: 15 January to 1 February 2026
  • Women’s EHF EURO 2026: 3 to 20 December 2026
  • Men’s EHF EURO 2028: 13 to 30 January 2028
  • Women’s EHF EURO 2028: 30 November to 17 December 2028

YAC events in 2021 and 2022

The Executive Committee was informed about the successful organisation of 11 younger category events over the summer. All indoor YAC events included workshops for ‘Respect Your Talent’, the EHF’s talent support programme promoting the holistic development of talented players’ careers on and off the court. As next steps for the ‘classes of 2021’, talent camps will be organised in December and January.

The Executive Committee praised the extremely positive development of the programme only two years after its implementation and agreed that also the National Federations should be included more closely and supplied with concepts for implementation of a similar approach on the national level.

The Executive Committee also confirmed the awarding of next year’s younger age category tournaments.

  • The Men’s 18 EHF EURO in August 2022 is awarded to Montenegro
  • Three EHF Championships with 8 teams each are awarded to Israel, Latvia and Ukraine
  • The Men’s 20 EHF EURO in July 2022 is awarded to Portugal.
  • Two Men’s 20 EHF Championships for a total of 21 teams currently have no bidding federations. Individual contacts to potential organisers are ongoing.

Approval of TRC members

Following the decision to once again install a Technical Refereeing Committee (TRC) as a subcommittee to the Competitions Commission, the Executive Committee has approved the following members.

  • Member for Grassroots: Denis Reibel (FRA)
  • Member for Female Referees: Jutta Ehrmann-Wolf (GER)
  • Member for Elite Referees: Oyvind Togstad (NOR)
  • Member for Development Zigmars Sondors (LAT)
  • The area of Special Tasks has been assigned to the person responsible for officiating at the EHF Office.

On the level of the Competitions Commission the EXEC took note of the resignation of Liudmila Bodnieva, who took on the role as head of the Russian women’s national team. Her position of Member Women’s Competitions has subsequently been opened again by the EXEC for applications from the EHF Member Federations.

Motions from the Methods Commission

Several motions from the Methods Commission were approved by the EXEC. Those included among others the following.

  • The cooperation with the University of Alicante for the scientific analysis and usage of the player and tracking data provided by Kinexon will be prolonged.
  • The EXEC approved the organisation of a 2022 World & European Wheelchair Handball Championship with four world and a maximum of eight European teams participating. The IHF Council confirmed their will to host a common championship in 2022.
  • Furthermore, the organisation of a ‘EHF & Special Olympics European Handball Week’ consisting of a tournament and a festival for handball players with learning disabilities in cooperation with Special Olympic Europe / Eurasia in 2022 was approved.

EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023 to take place in May

The EXEC received the report of the Beach Handball Commission including the information that the next Beach Handball EURO will take place at the end of May 2023. The EURO will also serve as the qualification event to the beach handball tournament at the European Games 2023 in Poland. The organisation right for the EHF Beach Handball EURO 2023 is to be announced in November 2021 and the event will be awarded by the EXEC in April 2022.

Additional topics

The EHF Executive Committee took note of the latest information from the EHF Marketing Advisory Board which included the final report of the business year 2020/21 as well as preview for 2021/22. It was very positively received that despite the challenges of the 2020/21 season all guaranteed payments to the clubs have been fulfilled.

The EXEC also received broad information on the latest meetings with the International Handball Federation, with a focus on the IHF Council sessions in June and September and projects such as beach handball clothing and players’ agents. Furthermore, the situation around the IHF Congress in November was highlighted.

The legal report as well as the report from the Initiator of Proceedings was presented to the EXEC. With regards to the latter, a motion was confirmed which defined the tasks of the IoP and its substitute. Furthermore, an update from the EHF’s Anti-Doping Unit and on the current planning for the new ‘European Handball House’ was given.

The EHF Secretary General presented his business report with an update on the EHF Office and partner activities. The EHF’s IT, business development and media department presented a strategic overview and outlook on the federation’s IT environment, digital marketing and media ecosystem to the EXEC.

The next meeting of the EHF Executive Committee will take place on 20 November in Vienna ahead of the Extraordinary Congress which awards the EHF EUROs in 2026 and 2028 and celebrates the 30th anniversary of the EHF.

The EXEC will then be joined by the new chairpersons of the Professional Handball Board and the Women’s Handball Board, as those will be elected at the PHB/WHB meetings on 12 October in Vienna.

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