French Professional League President Ousted: Miami tournament seen as catalyst for move

Alain Smadja, the architect who oversaw the incorporation of France’s top professional league, the Ligue National du Handball (LNH) was unceremoniously voted out last Friday after 6 years in office. Replacing him will be, Philippe Bernat-Salles, a former international Rugby player with few ties to Handball. According to French Handball news site, the decision to replace Smadja was at least partially tied to the failed LNH Final Four tournament held last year in Miami. The event was poorly attended and fans in France complained that the overseas location made it too costly for them to attend. The daring tournament was largely driven by Smadja’s vision to export handball to the U.S. Despite the lack of attendance, Smadja was still exploring the possibility of returning the event to the U.S. With his ouster, though, the possibility of a return has likely diminished.

THN (18 Apr 09): If You Build It, Will They Come?:
THN (23 Sep 09): USA Team Handball and LNH explore possibility of French Final Four in New York: (26 Jun 10): LNH Facelift:
HandAction: Alain Smaja: The American: