Referee and delegate reports assessed
Recent weeks saw allegations surface in the international media about match manipulation attempts in EHF competitions. The European Handball Federation has stepped into action by analysing the general situation and by looking into the single cases that came to light.
The EHF, committed to open communication on all matters, wishes to publish a report about the ongoing analysis.
On 17 March 2009, the EHF sent a questionnaire to 304 referees and 137 delegates active in EHF competitions in the past four seasons.
The EHF can confirm a predominantly positive experience with the feedback of the game officials. As many as 276 referees submitted their answers on time. The other 124 responses received from the delegates will be used to cross-check the information provided by the referees.
After a careful analysis of the documents, the EHF can confirm that a total of six referee couples reported manipulation attempts from the period analysed.
Two of these cases – one dating back to 2006, the other to 2008 – have already been examined by the EHF. As it was published on 25 March 2009, the available information at the time did not lead to direct open action within the EHF. The referees involved have already been informed that these cases will be looked into again.
Another two cases have been reported by the media last week. Detailed evaluation will follow in these cases and the findings will be passed on to the legal system of the EHF.
Two further cases were reported via the questionnaire given to referees and delegates. This was new information for the EHF and the cases will also be evaluated carefully and reported to the legal system in order to define further steps.
The analysis of the questionnaire was seen as a first measure by the European Handball Federation. Further investigation will be carried out to prove whether other illegal activities, yet unreported, could have occurred at EHF competitions.
After contacting the referees and delegates in the first step, the next phase of the research will be continued on the field of European Cup Clubs and the National Federations. A different questionnaire will be sent out on Wednesday, 25 March 2009, with the objective to gain feedback on the experience of the clubs and federations concerning the current match organisation procedures and their role in it, as well as on possible “problematic cases”.
The EHF Executive Committee will receive a detailed report about the situation at their meeting coming up on 28-29 March 2009. The document will analyse a number of key factors, such as the preparation of referees, match organisation questions and the shortcomings of the current reporting system.
This report will be a tool for the Executive Committee to take appropriate decisions. The Committee will deal with proposals aimed to reform the current system. The first steps have already been done for the remaining parts of the season.
The European Handball Federation will carry on with an active approach to confront the situation and will take the necessary organisational and legal steps in order to ensure the purity of the game.