President of European Handball Federation, Michael Wiederer, responded to Handball-Planet.com on a “hot-topic”, decisions of the governing body of European handball about the qualification process for Men’s IHF World Championship 2021 and Women’s EHF EURO 2020, but also EHF Champions League 2019/2020.
- The decisions of the EHF are based on a complete process and it takes us with surprise that the response to the publication on Friday only comes now, because the basic decision taken and officially published on 25 March 2020, and in a detailed letter to the Federations and Clubs, was not opposed in any way. This decision described the consequences of not having any competitions played in June/July in exactly the way it was communicated on 24 April 2020. The activation of the decision was the result of the meanwhile ‘everywhere in Europe’ cancelled competitions, and therefore was just a follow-up to the March announcement – said Wiederer and added interesting points which should be presented:
- The EHF as such consists of a structure with the involvement of more than 30 nations in various Commissions, Committees, and Boards.
- The issues were not only communicated in March, but moreover were also treated on the level of the Nations Board, Professional Handball Board/Women’s Handball Board with the presence of representatives of the following stakeholder groups – Players, Clubs, Leagues, and National Federations.
- The proposal of the EXEC members to create an additional national team week in September did not find a positive response there (except for the statement of the Nations Board that sporting decisions have to be taken on court). Even then, one knock-out round would have been open for defining the participants for the Play-Offs.
- The Executive Committee unanimously followed the findings taking into consideration the challenges of the timetable and regulations.
- All the information was published immediately after the meeting and the National Federations and the media received in addition, the 5-page document clarifying the situation.
- The EHF received positive feedback both in March and as well over the past days concerning the transparent information process which as well allows all the partners to plan the next period.
European Handball Federation understand situation in which are clubs and national Federations:
- Furthermore, it has to be underlined that the full rundown was based on a legal expertise regarding the responsibilities and the respective criteria. Therefore, the sporting result that finally the best 14 nations of the previous EURO are qualified directly corresponds to the named procedures. The same holds true for the club competitions in their entirety and, in particular, the Men’s Champions League where two rounds (Last 16 and Quarterfinals) with four matches were in question, but unfortunately not possible within the given timeframe. Under the given circumstances, it is logical that a number of National Federations and Clubs (independent of their previous performance) are of the opinion that they miss their theoretical chance for a final event and, as you can imagine, we really regret not only the lack of matches, but as well the fact that financial consequences will be unavoidable for all involved – the Federations, the Clubs, and especially the EHF. It has to be stated, again and again, that 80% of the competition income goes back to the protagonists; this means that EHF and EHF Marketing will do their utmost to preserve the competitions in the interest of all involved – concluded Michael Wiederer.