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Date: 2/1/2015

The International Handball Federation and Organising Committee of Qatar 2015 held a joint closing press conference today in the media centre at the Lusail Multipurpose Hall.

Present were:

- Dr. Hassan Moustafa, President of the International Handball Federation

- Mr. Miguel Roca Mas, IHF 1st Vice President

- H.E. Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, President of the Organising Committee of the 2015 Men’s Handball World Championship

- Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Al-Shaabi, President of Qatar Handball Association and Vice President of the Organising Committee of the 2015 Men’s Handball World Championship

- Dr. Thani Abdulrahman Al-Kuwari, Director General of the Organising Committee

The dignitaries answered questions on a number of topics as well as conducting signing ceremonies for France 2017, announcing a partnership with ASPETAR and a presentation to official floor suppliers, Gerflor. 

IHF Technical expert Dietrich Spate also announced a 'Rookie Team' of Qatar 2015 whilst explaining technical elements of the three-week tournament including the introduction of 'video proof' for goaline incidents.

Dr. Moustafa also confirmed that under strict anti-doping conditions, players were tested and all found to be clean from substance abuse at Qatar 2015.

A representative from beIN Sports, host broadcaster, also confirmed the jump in TV coverage from 66 territories in 2005 to 174 in 2015, with an estimated one billion viewership.

Dr. Hassan Moustafa, IHF President said: "Handball is a European sport but we now have teams coming from outside Europe, we can say, as the IHF, we're on the right track. 

"Our target is to promote and develop our sport in and outside Europe."

​​Miguel Roca, IHF 1st Vice President said: "It's the first time a World Championships has been in one city.

"It's progress for us, though we know in the future it won't be like this - it has been easy to organise things here."

France 2017
France will host the 25th Men’s Handball World Championship in 2017 and the road to France has already started in Qatar. Both finalists - France and Qatar - are the first two teams to be confirmed participants of this event, which will be staged from 16 to 29 January 2017 in ten cities throughout France.

On the final morning of Qatar 2015 the Organising Committee and the French Ambassador to Qatar hosted a reception in the French embassy in Doha, attended by IHF President Dr. Hassan Moustafa; Jean Brihault, President of the European Handball Federation; Thierry Braillard, French Secretary of State for Sports; and Joël Delplanque, Chairman of the Organising Committee of France 2017.

Delplanque praised the Organising Committee of the 24th Men’s Handball World Championship in Doha.

“The organisers did a great job, now it is our joy and responsibility to take the baton from Doha. The 2017 World Championship is a great opportunity to promote handball in France and all over the world.”

Delplanque hopes for sold-out venues in all cities, and IHF President Dr. Hassan Moustafa is even confident that they will break the spectator record for World Championships in France.

“In 2007 in Germany 750,000 tickets were sold. I believe in France we can break the one million mark.”

France will host a handball World Championship for the fourth time after two men’s events in 1970 and 2001 and the women’s event in 2007.

“All those World Championships had been milestones for handball,” said Moustafa.

“The 2007 event is still the record holder for women’s events in terms of ticket sales.

“The French Handball Federation are well known as excellent organisers.”

The 2017 World Championship will take place in Aix-en-Provence, Albertville, Brest, Lille, Metz, Montpellier, Nancy, Nantes, Paris and Rouen including the football stadium in Lille and the Arena Paris-Bercy, where the final weekend will be staged as in 2001 and 2007.

Like in Doha, 24 teams will compete for the medals in the same playing system with preliminary round, knock-out-stage and President’s Cup. The qualification will start in January 2016 with the European, African and Asian championships, followed by the European play-offs and the Pan-American championships in June 2016.

In March 2015 the organisers of France 2017 will unveil the logo and the website for the event. The French Federation was awarded the right to host this event in December 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. France will also host the Women’s European Championship in 2018.

After France, the next Men’s Handball World Championship will be organised jointly by Germany and Denmark in 2019 after the decision of the IHF Council in Doha in October 2014.