Group Club Handball Recommends Independent Referee Office

Group Club Handball has issued a press release that outlines a number of proposals that the EHF should consider to improve the current refereeing system. Chief among these is the establishement of an independent Referee Office separate from the EHF office. A full text of the press release is below.

Press release of Group Club Handball Dusseldorf , 17.3.09

Group Club Handball EEIG offers support to European Handball Federation (EHF) in order to improve the current refereeing system as soon as possible.

The following proposals shall be regarded as a basis for discussions:

1. An independent European referee office is responsible for organisation and nomination of referees and delegates (further on referees).
2. Every country has at least one referee official. He is taking care of the referees on behalf of the European referee office. He might issue invitations for visas, recommend or book hotel, and/or pick up referees at the airport, if necessary. He is not linked to clubs or national federations. He has to report to the referee office.
3. Travelling is organized by referees and European referee office. Clubs are not involved at all. There is no common dinner, meeting or similar before and after the match.
4. Referees are not allowed to have any contacts with clubs or club representatives. If a referee is contacted by a club – for whatsoever reason – he has to report it immediately to the European referee office. This will be controlled by the European referee office
5. The clubs are not allowed to contact referees. Referees have to report about any contacts with clubs.
6. Refereeing has to be totally independent and separated from the European Handball Federation (EHF) office. The responsibility for nominations is exclusively with the European referee office. No handball politicians or tournament management should be able to take influence.
7. The position of the Delegate shall be upgraded. He should be fully responsible for the bench.
8. The performance of delegates shall be judged by the referees. The performance of the referees shall be judged by delegates and coaches. A detailed control system with responsibilities for coaches, delegates and referees should to be established.
9. It has to be discussed whether it is necessary to referee in couples from one country. It might be a possible to nominate every time various referees from various countries for one match.
10. The delegates should be specialists which means that they should be former or active referees. Delegates should not be nominated due to political reasons.

The current statement has to be seen in relation with the rumours about bribery in Handball. GCH insists that Kiel and Lemme/Ulrich have to be regarded as innocent as long as no relevant proves have been forwarded.

At the same GCH encourages all competent bodies to clarify the correctness of the current allegations which jeopardize the future of Handball.

European Handball Federation (EHF) and Group Club Handball EEIG should closely co-operate in the spirit of fairness to optimize transparently the refereeing system and adopt it to the necessities of modern handball.

With kind regards

Mit sportlichen Gruessen

Dr. Gerd Butzeck/General Manager