PATHF Congress Update (Part 2)

Here’s some further analysis from Steve Pastorino’s second report from Brazil:

[i]“President Manoel Luiz Oliveira (BRA) has the thankless task of organizing this region on a shoestring budget. Fortunately for him, the Brazilian federation and professional league are a joint operation – allowing him to leverage the National Team, all Club teams and grass roots programs for sponsorship, television rights, host cities for events (like the congress we're attending) and growth. It's safe to say that Brazil's domestic and international success underwrites much of the Pan Am federation's activities.”[/i]

– As one who has often been critical of PATHF’s lack of transparency and poor coordination, let me give credit where credit is due. Brazil carrying the weight for the rest of PATHF is to be commended.

[i]“Dr. Moustafa, originally from Egypt, is here campaigning for re-election as president of IHF.”[/i]

– The election will be next June at the IHF Congress in Egypt. One country, one vote, so a vote from Guatemala is as good as a vote from the U.S., Sweden or Germany. Surely, the Europeans will propose an alternate candidate. It remains to be seen as to whether the fallout from the Asian Olympic Qualification fiasco will doom his candidacy.

[i]“Brazil will host the 3rd Men’s Club Championships beginning May 19, 2009 – an event in which the USA will look to field a team for the first time ever.”[/i]

– It will be interesting to see if the U.S. does in fact send a team as there will be a number of financial and logistical hurdles to overcome. For instance if the U.S. National Champion is sent the timing of the National Champions (first week in May) doesn’t support the tight turnaround. Funding to send a team to Brazil isn’t cheap either and it’s unlikely that any club would pay for this trip entirely on their own.

[i]“The USA plans to field teams in Men’s & Women’s U18 competition, as this event shall serve as the qualifying event for the 2010 Youth Olympics.”[/i]

– This is a step in the right direction for the U.S., but fielding competitive teams for these competitions could be challenging in under a year’s time. Additionally, the IOC has placed strict limit on the number of participants. The U.S. will only be allowed to send two teams out of all the team sports. So even should the U.S. qualify, there will likely be some conficts with Basketball and other Olympic sports.

Finally, while I appreciate the U.S. General Manager posting his informal notes, I’d still like to see the PATHF use their own website to spread the news to the entire hemisphere.