The EHF has released an official statement following an IHF decision to award Germany with a wildcard place at the Men's IHF World Championship
Following a meeting of the IHF Council on 8 July 2014, the IHF announced that Australia would not take part in the 2015 Men's IHF World Championship scheduled to take place in Qatar from 15 January to 1 February 2015. This decision was made by the IHF Council on the basis that the Oceania Handball Confederation is not currently recognised by the IHF.
In a further decision the IHF Council awarded the open place to Germany based on the team’s performance at the 2013 World Championship in Spain (the best-ranked team at the World Championship not to have qualified for the 2015 event).
This decision was made on the basis of a change to the competition regulations, confirmed by the IHF Council, which, according to an IHF media statement, foresees the awarding of open places by the IHF Executive Committee and not through a substitute nation nominated by a continental federation as was previously the case (World Championship Competition Regulations, 2.8).
The European places at the 2015 World Championship were decided by in two stages, firstly from direct qualification from EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark (with Croatia, Denmark and France qualifying directly) and also through qualification and play-off matches (with Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, FYR Macedonia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden taking the remaining places). Spain also qualified directly for the event as reigning world champions.
The Icelandic Handball Federation, as the first-ranked substitute nation from Europe based on the Icelandic team’s performance at EHF EURO 2014 (fifth place), has entered into extensive correspondence with the IHF, information that has been made available to the EHF.
The EHF remains in direct contact with the Icelandic Handball Federation regarding this matter.
TEXT: EHF/ jjr