Oceania Update: Australia women qualify for 2009 WC; NZ Handball Federation recognized by the IHF

The Australian women won the Pacific Cup Tournament which took place from 26-31 May in Brisbane, Australia. The Australian women won all 6 of their matches by an average of 14 goals and clearly demonstrated that they have the best national team in the Oceania region.

[b]Final Standings[/b]
Australia 6-0-0
Queensland 4-0-2
NZ Handball Federation 2-0-4
Handball NZ 0-0-6

Detailed Results: http://www.handballaustralia.org.au/events.html#2009_PC_And_JN

The tournament also has traditionally served as the Oceania qualification tournament for the World Championships, but Australia was the only IHF recognized nation participating. The 2 New Zealand teams, Handball New Zealand and the New Zealand Handball Federation represented competing New Zealand handball interests. Until recently Handball New Zealand was recognized by the IHF and the NZ Olympic Committee. Handball New Zealand, however, is closely aligned with Vern Winitana, the Oceania Handball Federation (OHF) President who was recently kicked off the IHF Council. Not surprisingly, the IHF recognized the NZ Handball Federation at the IHF Congress the following week. This move was briefly mentioned in an IHF posting on the Congress and is the current lead story on the NZ Handball Federation webpage. Vern Winitana, in response to an email query, indicated that the IHF is not supposed to recognize organizations which are not recognized by their nation’s Olympic Committee. Additionally, the status of the OHF as a part of the IHF is unclear and the Pacific Cup tournament was not conducted as an official OHF event.

The NZ Handball Federation as of this posting, has not responded to email requests for clarification.

New Zealand Handball Federation: http://www.handball.net.nz/cms/