26 Jul. 2013
Before the Men’s Junior World Championship in Bosnia-Herzegovina will see its next highlighters with the semi-finals, Dr. Hassan Moustafa, President of the International Handball Federation, draws his intermediate balance of the event in this interview with www.ihf.info.
Bosnia-Herzegovina was the organizer of an IHF event for the first time in history. What is your impression of the organisation of the Men’s Junior World Championship?
Dr. Hassan Moustafa: All 24 delegations had been highly satisfied with all departments of organisation like accommodation, training and competition facilities. And if the delegations and especially the players –the most important parts of handball – are highly satisfied, the IHF is also highly satisfied. The International Handball Federation says ‘thank you’ to the Bosnian Handball Federation, the Bosnian authorities and the venue cities, as they strongly supported this event. We often heard statements from the participating Federations like: ‘This junior event is organized like a senior event.’ So my balance is that Bosnia-Herzegovina has organised a great event and has done everything with heart and soul.
Matches of the host in Sarajevo, Serbia in Banja Luka or Croatia in Ljubuski were attended by a huge number of spectators. Did you expect this?
Dr. Hassan Moustafa: 66.280 spectators only in the preliminary round speak a clear language about the huge interest this event has caused all over Bosnia-Herzegovina: the overall number is a huge success for a junior event.
What about the performing level of the 24 teams?
Dr. Hassan Moustafa: This tournament has proved that handball has a great future with great players and great teams. And the Junior World Championship has shown that non-European teams have caught-up with traditionally big handball nations. For example I was really impressed by the Brazilian team. They were highly close to reach the semi-final and were able to stand against top European teams. We have great hopes to see a strong home team at the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio. Brazil is building-up a perfect base for this event. Aside, teams like Argentina or Tunisia have shown a clear improvement and have reached good results. Egypt was on eye level with France in the eighth-final even as they had to replace their best player. And by looking upon the top scorer list of the preliminary round players from Congo, Angola or Kuwait were on top of this ranking – a clear evidence for the global development of handball.
As a “product” of the Global Referee Training Programme (GRTP) a huge number of new referee pairs have been nominated for the Men’s Junior World Championship. Did they do a good job?
Dr. Hassan Moustafa: It is our clear objective to rejuvenate our referee groups for youth and junior events by the help of the GRTP programme. So we have a new generation of referees here in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not only during the event the members of our Playing Rules and Referee Commission are working very hard in the development of those referees. And everybody could see that all referees have made a great job. So the future of handball is not only looking bright by looking upon the players, but also in terms of referees.
What are your expectations for the final weekend in Sarajevo?
Dr. Hassan Moustafa: I wish all participating teams all the best – and may the best team prevail and win the gold medal on Sunday.