Gunnar Prokop Scandal: Reactions

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”

Ulrik Wilbek, Men’s Danish national team coach: the most disgusting thing I have seen in my career; he must be permanently suspended;

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”

Amandine Leynaud, Metz and French National Team Goalie: “We could have scored that last goal. It's shocking, it was a feeling of injustice”

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,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”

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:

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: 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.