Hypo and Brazil: from controversy to harmony

In Brazilian colors

In connection with the 2009 Women’s World Championship, Hypo decided to make a point regarding the lack of compensation and insurance when releasing their club players to national teams.  They essentially used coercion to make the players refrain from joining their national teams, something that happened to hit the Brazilian national team particularly hard.  The whole situation caused a lot of controversy at the time, and Hypo even took the further step of taking the matter to court, challenging the IHF/EHF rights to demand that players be released.  Subsequent arrangements for compensation may have made it a non-issue.

In any case, Hypo has continued to have several Brazilian top players as key members of its team.  And for the 2011-12 season, it appears that it has gone even further.  According to reports both in Brazilian and European media, no less than eight players, i.e., half of the national team squad from Brazil will be under contract with Hypo.   Clearly, it must be beneficial for both Hypo and Brazil to have all these players together on a club team in this way.  The Austrian league does not offer much of a challenge, but Hypo will again be a major contender in the EHF Champions League and also tends to arrange other strong international competition for its team.

But this is not the entire extent of the Brazilian impact in Vienna!  Hypo and Brazil have signed a contract under which also the other members of the Brazilian squad will be able to practice with their colleagues on the Hypo team.   And the coach for the Brazilian team, Morten Soubak of Denmark, will be able to visit frequently to follow the practices and progress of his many players.  It appears that the financing of this whole arrangement is supported by the Brazilian Olympian Committee, in its efforts to assist strong candidates for Olympic success.

Indeed, with a World Championship soon to be hosted by Brazil in the Sao Paulo region, furthermore preceded by the Olympic Qualifying through the PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara, it is not an exaggeration to say that the next six months may be pivotal in the climb of the Brazilians towards the absolute top in the world.   Personally, I would not be surprised if they could shock the rest of the top teams and contend for a medal in the World Championship.  They have a highly talented team at this point in time, with athletes of a high caliber.  If one adds the advantage that comes from practicing and playing serious games together over such an extended period, this just might be what brings them up to the very top.