OFFICIAL STATEMENT: EHF Court of Handball rules that the non-participation of the Georgian club after having registered and taken part in the first draw is regarded as a forfeit in violation of the European Cup Regulations
Samtredia fined for withdrawal
The EHF Court of Handball has released a decision in the case as regards the withdrawal of Samtredia (GEO) from participating in the 2015/16 Men’s EHF Challenge Cup.
In July, the club had registered to participate and been drawn to play the 2nd Round of the competition against the Kosovan club HC Kosova (KOS). However, in October the Georgian Federation officially informed the EHF that due to reasons beyond the control of Samtredia, the club was not able to travel to Kosovo.
This decision was subsequent to a letter send by the Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia sent in September whereby the Deputy Minister did not recommend participating in a match that is to be played in Kosovo since Georgia does not recognise Kosovo as an independent state. The withdrawal took place after a phase of communication in between all parties involved.
Yet, the EHF Court of Handball rules that the non-participation of the club after having registered and taken part in the first draw is regarded as a forfeit in violation of the European Cup Regulations and shall be sanctioned in accordance with the EHF List of Penalties.
Hence, according to Article C.2 of the EHF List of Penalties, the club shall pay a fine of €15,000 and is suspended from entering any EHF club competition until 30 June 2017.
However, and due to the exceptional political circumstances in between both countries, the club found itself in an inextricable situation. Thus, a third of the fine is imposed on a suspended basis with a probation period of one year.
Finally, due to the lack of conclusive element, no cost shall be reimbursed to HC Kosova.
An appeal may be filed with the EHF Court of Appeal within 7 days.
TEXT: EHF / cor