Multiple news outlets and Handball figures have weighed in with reaction to Hypo coach, Gunnar Prokop’s on court maneuver to physically prevent a game winning goal by Metz in an EHF Champions League match Thursday. The condemnations have been near universal.
Aftonbladet (Major Swedish Newspaper): “The most scandalous behavior we have ever seen; must be suspended for life’; the club must be barred from EHF for many years” http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/handboll/article6042460.ab
Ulrik Wilbek, Men’s Danish national team coach: the most disgusting thing I have seen in my career; he must be permanently suspended; http://sporten.tv2.dk/article.php/id-26108364.html?rss
Jan Hansen, Director of Aalborg Handball club: “They must be kicked out; and if he is not given a very long suspension, then all top clubs in women’s handball must join together and demand a more appropriate punishment” http://sporten.tv2.dk/article.php/id-26107347.html?rss
Amandine Leynaud, Metz and French National Team Goalie: “We could have scored that last goal. It's shocking, it was a feeling of injustice” http://www.lequipe.fr/Handball/breves2009/20091030_190554_leynaud-choquant-bas-honteux.html
Metz Coach, Francois Bertrand’s reaction was somewhat subdued. Speaking to the local paper in Metz, Bertrand explained that his reaction was mild for 3 reasons. 1) He is trying to improve upon his image as a “hot headed” coach; 2) The fact that the rules of Handball are actually limited in that instance (there is no technical foul as in basketball; and 3) He desired to keep Metz’s image clean in the eyes of the EHF http://www.republicain-lorrain.fr/fr/article/2142691,75/Bertrand-Francois-Un-sentiment-d-injustice.html
Gunnar Prokop’s reactions have stoked outrage in forums and handball circles. Shortly after the match he indicated no remorse, explaining that “Before I lose the game, I must risk the red card. Tactically, it was perfectly correct, and there was also no risk of injury to the player” http://de.eurosport.yahoo.com/31102009/73/champions-league-buntes-gegnerin-coach-umgemaeht.html
Also, of note is that the incident has been seen worthy of a short blurb in the USA Today, which only rarely posts anything about Handball: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2009-10-30-3281814801_x.htm
Finally, the EHF has indicated on their website that a disciplinary procedure has been initiated with the intention to review prior to Hypo’s next Champions League match on November 8th: http://www.eurohandball.com/article/12697 And speaking in an interview with the Austrian Press Association, EHF General Manager, Michael Wiederer indicated that it was an act without precedence that had created a media uproar. He also indicated that the EHF would not be showing any favoritism to the local club, stating that the case would be treated as if it were a Danish or Russian club.