Only last week, THN reported about the firing of the Head of Administration, http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.915 one of the two top positions in the IHF Office in Basel, moreover followed by the hiring of a well-known crony of the president as a replacement. [u]But now surely it has gone too far![/u] It has just become known, through an official letter to all IHF Council members and through press bulletins http://www.handballwoche.de/artikel/weitere/weltspiegel/news/ekke-hoffmann-kehrt-ihf-den-ruecken/ , that [u]Ekke Hoffmann, the Head of Sports, a real key position in an international sports federation, has seen himself forced to resign, essentially due to the behavior of the notoriously autocratic and meddlesome IHF president[/u]. In part, the resignation also seems caused by increasing interference from the president’s crony in matters for which the Head of Sports clearly must be responsible.
Many of you are likely to know, or know of, Ekke Hoffmann, a person with an ideal background for the position and with the highest level of ethics and integrity. Mr. Hoffmann is an experienced coach at the highest level, including a period in charge of the German women’s national team, and a first rate educator by profession. He has demonstrated a genuine interest in global aspects of the development of handball, with a great sense for the needs and opportunities in the new handball countries around the world. He has also shown a strong ability to contribute in matters such as referee development and rules development.
Mr. Hoffmann is a hands-on person and not a bureaucrat, but at the same time he emphasizes conceptual thinking and careful planning. He is a good manager. In short, any organization like the IHF should consider itself fortunate to have in its employ a person like Mr. Hoffmann. But [u]the president has managed to undermine Mr. Hoffmann’s situation to such an extent that he now feels forced to leave[/u], rather than keeping his high position and collecting his salary for a job where much of the responsibility and the substance is being removed. (How unusual for the IHF, where, by contrast, some elected officials seem to prefer having very little to do, as long as they can have the nice title and all the benefits that go with it).
It says a lot about the impotence of the IHF Executive Committee, and the failure of the majority of the Council members, if a situation such as this one is allowed to evolve, without anyone protesting or at least asking any serious questions. Perhaps, although it is a faint hope, someone in the Council will now decide to ask: how could this happen and what does it say about the president’s methods!? Not that it will cause Mr. Hoffmann to believe in sudden major change and make him change his mind, and not that the president will suddenly become a different person; [u]but just perhaps it could make some people start wondering about the ramifications for the longer term, if there is no change – soon[/u]. I will not hold my breath, but hope is eternal, as they say…