European Handball Federation celebrates 30-year anniversary in Vienna

19 Nov. 2021

European Handball Federation celebrates 30-year anniversary in Vienna

Tomorrow (Saturday 20 November), the European Handball Federation (EHF) celebrates a key milestone in its history, its 30-year anniversary, after the EHF was founded at a congress in Berlin, Germany on 17 November 1991.

To mark the occasion, the EHF will be holding its 14th Extraordinary Congress in Vienna, setting the stage for the celebrations. International Handball Federation (IHF) President Dr Hassan Moustafa will be present for the festivities.

After the 14th Extraordinary Congress, which will confirm the hosts for the next EHF EURO events, the participants are invited to the ’30 Years EHF Gala Dinner’ to mark the anniversary of the EHF at Rathaus Vienna.

Looking ahead to future EHF EUROs

One of the most significant items on the Extraordinary Congress agenda is determining the hosting rights for the 2026 and 2028 EHF EURO events.

After the Men’s EHF EURO was expanded from 16 to 24 teams in 2020, the Women’s EHF EURO will also see the expansion to the same number of teams in 2024. Therefore, both the Men’s and the Women’s EHF EURO in 2026 and 2028 will also have 24 teams at the start.

The main event in European men’s international handball looks set to return to Scandinavia after Norway and Sweden joined Austria to co-host the tournament in 2020, with the joint-bid of Denmark, Sweden and Norway the only one submitted for the Men’s EHF EURO 2026. The matches would be held in Copenhagen, Herning and Aarhus in Denmark, Kristianstad and Malmo in Sweden and Stavangaer, Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo in Norway.

The Women’s EHF EURO 2026 saw Russia as the only federation to bid for the hosting rights of the event, which would be a first in the history of the European premium tournament. Russia last hosted a major international tournament in 2005, when the hosts won the IHF Women’s World Championship. St Petersburg and Moscow are slated to be the venues for the event.

A sole three-nation bid was also put in for the Men’s EHF EURO 2028, with Spain, Portugal and Switzerland bidding for the organising rights of the tournament. Portugal and Spain organised the first two editions of the EHF EURO, in 1994 and 1996, while Switzerland hosted in 2006.

For this event, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, Lisbon, Zurich, Basel and Lausanne would be the hosts, with plans in motion to host the final either in Barcelona, at Palau St. Jordi, or in one of Madrid’s two stadiums, Wanda or Santiago Bernabeu.

For the Women’s EHF EURO 2028, a joint-bid of the Scandinavian trio of Denmark, Norway and Sweden has been placed, with their experience being instrumental in helping deliver an impressive presentation.

Denmark have hosted the Women’s EHF EURO four times, in 1996, 2002, 2010 (co-hosting with Norway) and, most recently, in 2020. Sweden have also hosted the event twice, in 2006 and 2016, while Norway were the hosts in 2010.

Copenhagen, Herning and Aarhus would also serve as hosts for Denmark, Stavanger, Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo for Norway, while Sweden would chime in with Helsingborg and Gothenburg.

For more information about the EHF and the evolution of handball in Europe, click here to read an interview with EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner.