The XXVI Ordinary Congress of the IHF was held in Antalya on Saturday November 11, with a full agenda including the President’s Report, membership admissions and elections of various IHF positions.
IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa welcomed all representatives of Member Federations with an address.
“I would like to welcome all of you to this very important Congress,” said Dr Moustafa, before addressing several items relating to the agenda and discussing development around the world. “It is very important for the International Handball Federation to work with all of you, to be in the same direction in the future.
“2016 was a tremendously successful year. Everything was achieved by working together.”
Prior to the video-format President’s Report, Dr Moustafa outlined some of handball’s most important achievements of the last two years since the previous Congress in Sochi, Russia. These included the number of fans in attendance at the 25th IHF Men’s World Championship in France, reaching 540,000, the introduction of the Emerging Nations Championship, the growth of Europe’s qualification pool for the World Championships and Olympic Games from 36 countries to 48, and the first U17 Beach Handball World Championship in Mauritius in the summer of 2017.
“I am pleased to hear from each Federation about their development programmes, to help and support you and hear exactly what you need from us,” concluded the President.
New Member Federations and IHF President motion
The formal proceedings began with the confirmation of five new IHF Member Federations: Fiji, Timor-Leste, Jamaica (all full membership), and Scotland and England (associated membership).
The financial and auditor’s report was presented, and the motion of the IHF President, to divide the Pan American Team Handball Federation into two was discussed. The proposal is to split PATHF into the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation, and the South and Central America Handball Confederation, with the following justification:
– An increase in the handball activity in all areas – resulting from financial advantages due to shorter distances and reduced travel costs; the remaining money will increase the handball activity in all areas.
– Especially the North American market is decisive for the development of handball worldwide and for the position of handball worldwide. North America is the key market for receiving status and income related to the Olympic Games. A development in North America will strengthen the position of handball in the IOC and at the Olympic Games and will guarantee that handball stays on the Olympic Programme and that Beach Handball can be added as a discipline.
– Organisational advantages such as shorter distances. Due to the shorter travel distances, more tournaments can be staged on a regular basis in all categories and even on club level resulting in increased handball activity on continental level. The IHF can hereby provide support in several matters and provide assistance in the kick-off phase.
– Providing the opportunity to focus on the Caribbean zone with tailor-made projects for Beach Handball. This would give these countries a realistic chance to take part in IHF events, as they would then belong to the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation, avoiding the traditionally strong beach handball nations from the south.
– Increased motivation from teams from North and South which usually do not qualify for IHF events to qualify for a major event as there is then a realistic pathway. With earning a qualification to IHF events and with the experience gained at international events, these teams will have the chance to close the gap to the dominant teams and also the currently dominant teams will benefit from stronger opponents.
– Smaller qualification tournaments, group stages similar to football or handball in Europe would be possible in a second step; finishing the qualifications for IHF events earlier would be beneficial for the planning on a long-term basis and for setting up the IHF calendar of events.
– With realistic chances of success on competitive level, also the chances for raising funds from different sources (sponsors, NOC, governmental institutions) increase significantly.
– More professional administrative bodies could be established, and better service to the Member Federations is expected, since the respective body will take care of a smaller number of federations. This could contribute to enhancing the work quality (more focused and specialised).
– Through having more handball activity on continental level, more human resources such as coaches, referees, delegates, handball managers, etc. could be identified and promoted/educated accordingly.
– Giving the IHF the possibility to further develop the IHF Trophy tournament in order to include this tournament in the qualification pathway for Junior World Championships.
It was decided that the IHF Council will take the final decision on this motion.
The next item on the agenda was the election of various IHF positions, including President, with the results as follows:
IHF President: Dr Hassan Moustafa (EGY)
IHF 1st Vice-President: Joel Delplanque (FRA)
Treasurer: Anna Rapp (SWE)
Executive Committee – two new members: Narcisa Lecusanu (ROU), Frantisek Taborsky (CZE)
Chairman of the Commission of Organising and Competition: Per Bertelsen (DEN)
Chairman of the Playing Rules and Referees Commission: Ramon Gallego (ESP)
Chairman of the Commission of Coaching and Methods: Dietrich Spate (GER)
Chairman of the Medical Commission: Dr Francois Gnamian (CIV)
Chairman of the Commission for Development: Raquel Pedercini Marinho (CAN)
Chairman of the Arbitration Tribunal: Zoran Radojicic (MNE)
Chairman of the Arbitration Commission: Tomislav Grahovac (CRO)
Chairman of the Ethics Commission: Hussein Moustafa Fathy (EGY)
Many of those elected took the opportunity to address the Congress. President of the Canadian Handball Federation, Raquel Pedercini, was voted as Chairperson of the IHF Commission for Development:
“Thank you very much for the support. I’m hoping to work together with everyone to help to develop handball around the world and bring handball to the level we hope to achieve in the countries that have to develop more.”
Motions from Federations, and Rules and Regulations
Motions to the Congress were presented by Montenegro and Norway. Montenegro motioned for the awarding of Youth and Junior World Championships to be the subject of IHF Council decisions, rather than Congress, as was previously the case. This motion was approved by Congress.
Norway motioned that every IHF body be comprised of members of both genders, was approved. Norway also motioned that when changes to the Rules of the Game are approved by the Council, a minimum of three Member Federations of different sports levels shall play under the modified rules for at least one season in order to test them before implementation. This motion had the full support of newly elected PRC Chairman Ramon Gallego, and was approved by Congress.
After the motions, Dr Moustafa outlined minor changes to the Rules and Regulations, regarding items such as Transfer between Federations, the Ethics Code, and Coaching Education, as ratified by the Council. Dr Moustafa then shared the IHF programme of activities for the coming four years, and the budget for 2018 and 2019 was presented and approved.
Awarding of Junior and Youth World Championships
One of the last items on the agenda was the awarding of Men’s and Women’s Youth and Junior World Championships. The 2020 IHF Women’s Junior (U20) World Championship was awarded to Romania, while the 2021 Men’s Youth (U19) World Championship was awarded to Greece.
Russia, who had previously bid to host the 2019 IHF Congress, withdrew, and the awarding of this event will therefore be decided by the IHF Council.
Finally, the IHF President’s Development Awards were presented, with Russia receiving the developed countries award and Mongolia receiving the emerging nations award.