03 Jul. 2019
After the Extraordinary Congress had been held in the morning, the IHF Member Federations gathered again today (3 July) in order to convene the XXXVII Ordinary Congress organised in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Congress was held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Partille Cup, the world’s largest youth tournament and “in the spirit of world youth handball”, three young players of IK Sävehof entered the stage in the beginning, addressing the Congress as representatives of youth handball.
Before presenting the most significant achievements since the last IHF Congress in Antalya, Turkey in 2017, IHF President Dr Moustafa welcomed everyone with a strong message about unity:
"For me the IHF Congress is a big ceremony where we all gather to celebrate the outstanding outcome of the development of handball at all levels and everywhere. We are not 209 nations but, truly, we are just one community and one nation. We are stronger when we act together."
Presenting the progress of the IHF New Markets’ Project, Jean Brihault, advisor to the IHF regarding the USA, and Cheng Qiao, Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Handball Federation, then took the floor to speak about the development of handball in USA and PR of China before the activities of the last two years were presented in form of a video.
After the Congress was presented with the internal and external auditors’ reports of 2017 and 2018, the IHF Member Federations were asked to vote on the motions from the IHF Council regarding the IHF Statutes.
Resin-free ball, wheelchair haNdball, GENDER EQUALITY and much more
Following the motions, Gerflor opened agenda item 14 with a presentation on their activities and, amongst others, presented an idea of a new floor which would render mopping unnecessary in the future thanks to a special varnish, which would reduce the risk of slipping on wet areas.
Hummel was on next, as Ulrik Feldskov Juul, PR, Karma & Communication Manager, presented the company’s vision on how to change the world through sports with several projects they are working on. The latest project is called ‘HAND’, which stands for ‘Handball for a new Destiny’ and is aimed at helping grow the sport in Sierra Leone and improve the chances of girls to be able to do sports in a male-dominated society. According to hummel, handball can bring joy to anyone: “We need to support anyone who wants to play and to give them the best opportunities. […] Let’s do what we can to share the game of handball.”
Afterwards, Molten’s resin-free ball was presented. First, Dietrich Späte, Chairman of the IHF Commission of Coaching and Methods, informed the Congress about the results of the different test that were conducted, especially the long-term test with the French Handball Federation, and new ball regulations, which will be introduced. In the future, there will be regulations for balls with and without resin and three different handballs for beginners. Afterwards Molten Corporation presented the actual ball for the Congress to see for themselves. The IHF President added, though, that the process of introducing the resin-free ball at top level will still take a long time. “The main thing is: we are on a very good way.”
Prof. Hosny Ahmed, head of the Anti-Doping Unit, then presented the IHF activities in the field of anti-doping, followed by a presentation of IHF Executive Committee Member Joël Delplanque on good governance and how the IHF has been realising its principles step by step.
Wheelchair handball, which dates back to the first demonstration matches in 1993, was next on the agenda, with IHF Executive Committee Member and Chairman of the Wheelchair Handball Working Group Frantisek Taborsky reporting about the current status and work of the Working Group, the main goals, tasks and programme of which is set. The main goal of the Working Group is to put wheelchair handball on the Paralympic programme.
After EHF President Michael Wiederer talked about the relationship between IHF and EHF, IHF Executive Committee Member Narcisa Lecusanu presented the work of the Women’s Handball and Gender Equality Working Group, as she talked about the activities since its foundation in 2017 and mentioned how a strategic plan will be implemented in 2020.
Agenda item 14 was closed by presentations on the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship in Kumamoto, Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as well as the 2021 Men’s World Championship to be held in Egypt.
After the 2020/2021 budget was presented and approved, the Member Federations approved the host o the next IHF Congress in 2021. With only one federation having submitted a bid, the decision was simple: Turkey will welcome the IHF members in 2021 to Antalya for the XXXVIII IHF Ordinary Congress.
Awards and honours
The President’s Development Award for the developed handball nations went to Norway while the award for the emerging federations was handed over to Cuba. After the organisers of past events were honoured, as well as the National Federations participating in the last Men’s World Championship in Germany and Denmark, the best developing continent was awarded: the African Handball Confederation.
In addition, former Japan Handball Association President Noriyuki Ichihara was honoured for his services to handball.
Photo: Per Wahlberg