Changes in IHF By-Laws/Statutes: What is the issue?

In response to what has been written both by us in THN and in other media, I have had some feedback from persons who have either had some involvement in the process or are concerned about the results of the proposals before the IHF Extraordinary Congress.

It is understandable that people who are not directly involved have a very limited understanding of the issues, because the IHF has not exactly been open and transparent about what is going on. Not many have had an opportunity to review and understand the implications of the proposals. The same goes for the process that has been followed; not many know how it has happened that we now have a set of proposals that in many respects appear very dangerous and inappropriate. So I would like to dispel some misunderstandings.

Some persons have characterized the issue as essentially being a fight between the IHF and the EHF. This is mostly misleading, as it is true only in the sense that the EHF is the only entity that has openly protested against the proposals and pointed to the dangers involved. But this has happened only very late in the process, and personally I am not impressed with the overall role that the EHF has played; they have been far too unsuspecting or low-key until very recently. They were not invited to be part of an earlier Working Group but there is no indication that they were protesting this exclusion. Similarly, there is no indication that the EHF President ‘created an upheaval’ against what was happening, at the time of the most recent IHF Council meeting. Nevertheless, I am of course pleased that the EHF is now finally attempting to coordinate some kind of resistance.

Others have unfortunately focused more on the process than on the substance. There are indications of a ‘blame game’ between members of the Working Group and members of the IHF Council. From the Working Group it is said that ‘we just put forward a proposal but all decisions were taken by the Council’. From the Council it has been heard that ‘we are not experts so we felt we had reason to trust what was proposed by the Working Group’… If all the participants want to hold someone else responsible, guess who benefits from this kind of finger-pointing: the IHF President from whom almost all of the fundamental and dangerous proposals originated. Clearly, the process was not the issue. The President knew that he would not encounter any resistance. Far too many of the persons involved have their respective personal reasons for just going along with it!

So I simply want to restate briefly what I indicated in my lengthy article on March 21, namely that there are [u]two completely inappropriate tendencies[/u] in the proposed new Statutes: [u]1. indications of a one-sided and heavy-handed shift in power in favor of the IHF, at the expense of all other levels and members in the international handball family, and 2. a major expansion of the personal power of the President.[/u] These are tendencies that run completely counter to all sound and modern principles for the management and decision-making in an international sports organization or, for that matter, in any democratic institution. Handball is being sent in a fast and dangerous down-hill slide. [u]Those of you who are in a position of influence must stop it before it is too late![/u]

One thought on “Changes in IHF By-Laws/Statutes: What is the issue?

  1. Pingback: IHF By-Law Proposals: Important changes seem to be emerging | Team Handball News

Comments are closed.