- I can’t torture my body anymore. I feel empty. I decided to take a break and listen to my body and soul – it was the essence of everything Yvette Broch wanted to tell us in 2018, when she tearfully explained why she wanted to leave the Hungarian Győr and handball when it was at its peak.
“Look at her, she plays in the best club in the world, earning 10,000 and more, drives club’s BMW, wins the Champions League and now she’s missing something!? Crazy Dutch woman. Here in the Balkans, we play for bread, they do it for fun. It’s like a job for them. They can find another one”, admit that you thought and said, at least in yourself? Okay, maybe not in this order and this explicitly.
And now her words sound different to me…
The best handball player in the world at that moment, 26 years old, at her peak, MVP of whatever she wanted. Russian women, steel, system, this and that…
“When will they play it if not now? What is wrong with these people?”
- At one point I crossed the line. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I want to do everything I can to think a little about myself – said then Ana, “Messi of women’s handball”. Thank God, she returned to handball after a break, and she is in Vipers.
The malicious will say “he doesn’t like to play anymore”, “he made money, so even 50,000 net monthly is nothing anymore”, and “why not retire, he is 36?”.
All those poison darts to one side. Is LeBron James chasing records for money or Novak Djokovic?
Money is no more a problem for many top athletes, but no one ever had a chance to be the greatest if they only thought about cash.
A few days after the 2023 World Championship, the serious injuries of Omar Ingi Magnusson and Magnus Saugstrup happened and started an avalanche of public comments and articles. The hunting season for the two-headed dragon presented to the common world by the IHF and EHF is open.
We all know where the problem is. A huge number of major competitions. Every single year, in the Olympic one three tournaments in 12 months? Who can stand it if we see what form of athleticism handball has turned into, how much strength and speed is needed to be at the level?
The players suffered, and are still suffering today, unorganized, everyone muttering something to themselves, sometimes publicly with a statement in an affectation that incurs the wrath of the referees and the bureaucracy and the risk of “being nowhere” after playing career.
All they did together was make a “Don’t play the players” video campaign in 2019 and that effect died down quickly. Every year in Cologne and on the final weekends of the big events, the leaders, referees, coaches, player agents gather, only the players gather in the summer when they need to spend their free days on the coast. Get organized, like any workforce, make a decision, be united. Get together somewhere and send a message. Well, when the best 200 players from 30 national teams don’t show up for one EHF week, maybe someone will realize better how big is the problem?
Players, it’s about your skin.
The domestic championships and European cups are here, and the European and World Championships are scheduled until the EHF EURO 2028 in Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
Legendary German Stefan Kretzschmar asked on his networks “OK, where is the solution?”
The solution is that someone says tomorrow: “No, the World Championship will not be organized in 2029. We are postponing it to 2030, and together with our partners from the continental federations, we have decided that the European and other championships will be played in 2031 – concluding with the Olympic cycle after 2032, the World and European Championships will be played once every four years”.
Which means, we are resting in 2029, we are resting in 2033, we are resting in the winter of the Olympic year 2036… We are taking care of our people.
Will the EHF and IHF drop that cake? Explanation like “we are developing handball and we have to play the World Championships every two years” is not enough because you have living people. Make some development tournament for developing countries, B, C, D. The EHF holds the control package of the Champions League and the national teams, everything brings profit.
Nobody will change anything if the players don’t rebel. The media is a fog, they don’t change the world, they are just a consequence.
Until that happens, we will bet on who will be next?
Written by Zika Bogdanovic