The last few months have seen some significant changes in the administration offices of the International Handball Federation (IHF). Without any formal announcement last September the IHF first quietly dismissed its “Head of Administration, Christoph Geissler. Geissler, the former Assistant Managing Director, had been appointed to the new Head of Administration position in August of 2008. This position, along with the position of “Head of Sports Department” had been created in the wake of then IHF Managing Director, Ms Hala Helmy’s surprise resignation in May of 2008. At the time the IHF trumpeted the splitting of the IHF Managing Director duties as a benefit to handball federations worldwide and would facilitate better handling of the busy international schedule.
Although no longer employed by the IHF, Mr. Geissler is still listed as the Head of Administration on the IHF’s webpage. More importantly, without fanfare or announcement the IHF has now apparently hired a replacement for this key position as official IHF correspondence is now being signed out by a new Head of Administration, Ms. Amal Khalifa. Ms Kalifa is a former director of the Egyptian Handball Federation, but had lost her position when Dr Moustafa was prohibited from retaining his Presidency of the Egyptian Federation in December of 2008. Additionally, she has performed several tasks for the IHF President in the past as a personal assistant in a semi-official capacity.
Commentary: Nothing against the nation of Egypt, but isn’t it just a little too much of a coincidence that the IHF has now had two Egyptians hired into key management positions at its Headquarters in Basel in the past two years. I’m sure an exhaustive world-wide search has simply led to the most qualified person getting the job. Seriously, should anyone be surprised that a close confident to Dr Moustafa will supervise day to day activities in Basel? Time will tell if Ms Kalifa will be more successful then Ms Helmy. And time will tell if the International Handball community will ever take steps to right its ship.
IHF: Hala Helmy quits the International Handball Federation (14 May 08): http://www.ihf.info/front_content.php?idcat=228&idart=1111
IHF: IHF Executive Committee approves structural changes of the IHF Head Office (11 Aug 08): http://www.ihf.info/front_content.php?idcat=228&idart=1513
IHF: IHF Administration Staff page: http://www.ihf.info/front_content.php?idcat=115
THN: Ally to IHF President Moustafa Loses Egyptian Handball Federation Election (31 Dec 08): http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?item.661