The EHF Arbitration Tribunal, the last instance of the internal legal system of the European Handball Federation, has dealt with two further cases.
The case of Handball club Chehovskie Medvedi
The EHF Arbitration Tribunal has taken a final decision in the case related to the 2005/2006 Men’s Cup Winner’s Cup Final, 2nd leg, between Handball club Chehovskie Medvedi/RUS and Club Balonmano Pevafersa Valladolid/ESP that took place in April 29, 2006 in Chekhov/RUS.
The EHF Arbitration Tribunal has found that the hosting club Chehovskie Medvedi was clearly negligent in its duty to protect the EHF referees as an unidentified person made an offer of money to one of the EHF referees in the playing area during the warm-up period before the beginning of the match.
The hosting clubs have a general obligation to ensure adequate protection of EHF officials at any time during their stay at the playing venue and in particular when they are in the playing arena before matches when an optimal protection can be ensured with reasonable means.
The EHF Arbitration Tribunal also found that handball club Chehovskie Medvedi violated the fundamental principle of cooperation between the hosting clubs and the EHF, as well as its reporting obligation as responsible of the good order, security and safety before, during and after the match by omitting to inform the EHF of the serious incidents that the EHF referees faced after the match at Moscow airport. Such an omission had serious consequences as the professionalism and organisation of European handball competitions were publicly called into question.
The organisation of EHF club competition matches is indeed based on a close cooperation between the hosting clubs and the EHF that includes the reporting by the hosting clubs of any event of relevance concerning the match itself, the participating clubs, the EHF officials and any person involved directly or indirectly in the match. Such cooperation is fundamental to ensure the security, good order, and integrity of the European handball matches.
The handball club Chehovskie Medvedi shall pay a monetary fine of 25,000 Euros with the threat of 2 years exclusion from all international handball competition suspended for a period of four years.
The case of Frank Lemme and Bernd Ullrich
The EHF Arbitration Tribunal has taken a final decision in the case involving the EHF referees Frank Lemme and Bernd Ullrich in relation to the 2005/2006 Men’s Cup Winner’s Cup Final, 2nd leg, between handball club Chehovskie Medvedi/RUS and Club Balonmano Pevafersa Valladolid/ESP that took place in April 29, 2006 in Chekhov/RUS.
The EHF Arbitration Tribunal found that by not informing the EHF of the improper offer of money made to one of them before the aforementioned match and by not reporting the serious incident they faced at the airport in Moscow after the match, where 50,000 USD was found in an item of luggage belonging to one of the referees, the EHF referees committed serious professional misconduct that called their professionalism and objectivity into question.
Reporting information to the EHF is an integral part of the responsibilities of the EHF officials. Reports should not only be made about the match itself, but also any other information, incident or action that violates EHF Regulations and Statutes and that may discredit the sport of handball in Europe.
The EHF referees have an obligation to disclose to the EHF all information that may be of relevance to assess their integrity, impartiality and objectivity; qualities that are a prerequisite for an EHF referee to ensure the fairness of the EHF competitions, matches and to obtain the respect of all involved parties.
Mr. Frank Lemme and Mr. Bernd Ullrich are therefore suspended from their function as EHF referees and from all other EHF functions and/or activities related to international handball competitions for a period of 5 years.
Right to appeal
In line with the EHF Arbitration Regulations, a statement of claim may be filed at the EHF Court of Arbitration within 21 days.
Technical analysis of the game
The EHF Arbitration Tribunal requested technical analysis of the aforementioned game from independent refereeing experts. The video analysis confirmed that there was no evidence of biased or imbalanced refereeing during the match.