Update on EHF measures
The European Handball Federation intends to keep you up-to-date on the status of action taken in connection with the recently surfaced alleged manipulation attempts in handball. The EHF has reached out to all stakeholders and has seen the common interest of clarifying the situation. The EHF and its member federations are concerned about the matter and want to deal with it in a fully open way.
The EHF considers that the cases that have appeared recently may give it a chance to take action in a way that – hopefully – will ensure the fairness of European competitions in the future.
Up until the THW Kiel and the Chehovskie Medvedi cases came up, the EHF had received information from its referees on two occasions concerning attempts at bribery. In both cases, one dating back to 2006 and the other to 2008, the available information at the time did not lead to direct open action within the EHF.
The EHF then decided to take general action by adapting its legal system through:
The creation of the position of Initiator of Proceedings,
The setting up of a legal system independent of the political leadership of the EHF.
The new legal system is now being taken advantage of to deal with the two cases recently opened.
In the case of the 2007 final between THW Kiel and Flensburg-Handewitt, full cooperation with the German legal authorities, the German Federation and the German League is in place. Regular communication also takes place between the President of the EHF and the Chairman of the Men’s Clubs Committee. Given the fact that German justice is involved, the EHF has to limit itself to the technical aspects of the case. The DVD of the game has been analysed independently. The external experts’ conclusion was that no suspect behaviour was detected in the way the referees had conducted the game. This opinion was confirmed by several national specialists who volunteered their judgement. The conclusions of the experts’ analysis, as well as other relevant information, were communicated to German justice.
Concerning the Chehovskie Medvedi game, the referees involved have been released from duties pending investigation; the Initiator of Proceedings has taken action and the independent legal authority set up by the EHF is now conducting its investigations and will be responsible for the final decision.
So as to fully understand the situation, the EHF has also launched a survey. All EHF referees and delegates have been sent a questionnaire inviting them to state their experience in the field of the relationship with club and national teams’ officials.
On a strategic level, new measures were envisaged during the meeting that took place on 22 March between Competitions Commission Chairman, CC member responsible for referee matters and EHF administration. All relevant external and expert input was taken into consideration.
The respective decisions will be taken by the Executive Committee at its meeting on March 28-29. Information on these and other decisions will be announced to the public at the EHF Press Conference closing this meeting in the EHF Headquarters, Vienna on Sunday, 29 March at 11hrs.
In addition, immediate measures will already be implemented in the Men’s EHF Champions League Quarterfinal stage. In contrast to the earlier practices, referee nomination will not be published in advance; it will be announced only two hours before the matches. Accordingly, there will be no contact between the clubs and the referees until short time before the game.
Furthermore, the evaluation of the referees in the Champions League Quarterfinals will not be done by the EHF Delegate at the game, but by an independent refereeing expert analysing the match at a later time. This will ensure a better match observation by the EHF delegate and at the same time a neutral analysis from another point of view.
It is the firm intention of the EHF leadership to act decisively in the matter so as to eradicate the attempts at corruption appearing in handball and to keep an open line of communication with all concerned as well as with the general public. These are the conditions for success in our efforts to guarantee the attractiveness of our game and its continued development.