[b]EHF – IHF Championship Conflict Postponed:[/b] The European Handball Federation (EHF) has completed its congress in Vienna. 49 member nations were present a number of issues were addressed Notably, the EHF declined to commit fully to a proposal that would change the scheduling for European Championships to odd years, a move that would conflict with the current schedule format for the International Handball Federation (IHF) World Championships. Instead a Working Group was formed to further address the issue. The EHF also appears to have embraced the need for input from the major clubs, as Group Club Handball (GCH) President/Ciudad Real President, Joan Marin is a member. Previously, the EHF had been wary of the GCH as its formation was seen as a threat to the EHF Champions League competition.
[b]Funding Split: [/b]Revenue from the EHF Championship tournament will also now include 10% profit sharing for the clubs as insurance for players participating in the tournament. This should help alleviate one of the major club complaints that these National Team tournaments were not only disruptive to their club schedules, but also a major risk to them due to player injuries.
[b]EHF Championships Awarded: [/b]Serbia may not be part of the European Union yet, but the EHF member nations gave it a vote of confidence by awarding them hosting rights for 2012 EHF Men’s Championships.. Fellow contender Germany was eliminated in the first round and then Serbia narrowly defeated France in the 2nd round 26-23. In the Women’s vote, the Netherlands easily beat Ukraine 32-17. Both Germany and Serbia had proposed bids for the Women’s tournament but withdrew prior to the vote. Germany’s bid was contingent of a dual Men/Women hosting concept and Serbia withdrew once it had won the Men’s competition vote.
[b]Analysis: [/b]The EHF, European clubs, national leagues and national federations had been working at cross purposes due to their conflicting interests. It now appears that these key players now recognize that they all should all have a seat at the table, even if they still disagree as to which tournaments should take precedence. It would also appear that they see the need to put forth a unified European effort if they are going to succeed in their efforts to move the IHF World Championship to a once every four year cycle. The IHF is scheduled to again discuss this issue at their Council meeting next month.
EHF website article on Congress results (Day 2): http://www.eurohandball.com/article/11780
Group Club Handball: www.groupclubhandball.com
Earlier commentary on 2 vs. 4 year tournament cycle: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?extend.331