The International Handball Federation (IHF) strongly condemns the actions taken by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine and would like to convey their support and solidarity to everyone who is affected by this war situation.
The invasion of Ukraine represents a breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government, with a corresponding United Nations (UN) resolution having been signed on 2 December 2021 by consensus of all 193 UN Member States. This breach is not acceptable and, therefore, the IHF Council decided the following:
With immediate effect and until further notice, the IHF bans all teams, officials, referees, lecturers and experts from Russia and Belarus from taking part in IHF events and activities.
As a consequence, Russia will not take part in the 2022 IHF Women’s Junior (U20) and Youth (U18) World Championships as well as the 2022 IHF Men’s Beach Handball World Championship this summer, for which they had already qualified.
This decision corresponds with the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and validates the decision taken by the European Handball Federation (EHF) to suspend the “national teams of Russia and Belarus as well as Russian and Belarusian clubs competing in European handball competitions” and not nominate Russian and Belarusian referees, officials, lecturers and commission members, expanding it to a global level.
Further details regarding the implementation will follow in due course.
The IHF strongly believes in “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”, with the promotion of peace through sports being a main topic in the UN resolution.
The IHF hopes for a return to peace and calls for the involved parties to stop the military action to preserve the life of their citizens, also wishing that a return to a normal situation will be possible so that all players can at some point get back to action on the handball courts.