As expected, Bosnia & Herzegovina lost its appeal to the EHF to have the 2nd leg of its European Championship Qualification match between Hungary adjudicated in their favor. As reported earlier, the 2nd leg of the Bosnia – Hungary match was abruptly ended by the EHF Technical Delegate with 11 minutes remaining due to unruly fans throwing objects on the court. The EHF declared the match over at that point. As Hungary won the first match by 2 goals and was leading the 2nd leg by 3 goals, as well, it was highly unlikely that Bosnia could have overcome this 5 goal aggregate deficit. Not impossible, but unlikely. Bosnia was also fined 7,500 Euros and their next two EHF matches in Bosnia will be held in empty arenas. And most importantly, Hungary now officially claims the 24th and final spot at the World Championships in Croatia next January.
But here’s a couple items to ponder. First off, how about contrasting the actions of the EHF Delegate to this match, a Mr Ericsson from Sweden, with the IHF Delegate, Alexander Kozhukhov, for the Korea – Kuwait match at the Asian Olympic Qualification. You can argue whether Mr. Ericsson, took the right action to stop the match and whether he tried hard enough to get it restarted, but you can’t argue with the forceful action that he took compared to Mr Kozhukhov. It couldn’t have been easy for Mr. Ericsson to make that decision in front of 8,000 angry fans, but he made the decision. Contrast that to Mr Kozhukhov's inaction.
Secondly, what if the score had been reversed? In other words, what if Bosnia had been up by 3 goals and leading the aggregate by 1 goal? How would all of this had played out? Would Hungary have quickly left the floor? Would the Bosnian fans have policed themselves better? If it had gone to arbitration, how would have the EHF ruled? Would they have given the match to Hungary as a forfeit? All very interesting questions. If the EHF hasn’t pondered the answers to these questions, they’d be wise to.
You Tube Video of Swedish Delgate at Match: http://youtube.com/watch?v=RybgJ6cLijo (starts addressing the crowd at about 2:30)
EHF Statement: http://www.eurohandball.com/inc/print.asp?oid=11572
Earlier Handball News Article: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.516