European Handball Federation
The European Handball Federation (EHF) is the umbrella organisation for European handball. Founded on 17 November 1991, it is made of 50 member federations and two associated federations (England and Scotland), and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The current EHF President is Michael Wiederer, who was elected on 17 November 2016 and will serve until 2020. The federation celebrated its 20th anniversary on 17 November 2011 at a gala event under the slogan 'HeartBeat Handball'.
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|European Handball Federation|
|Year of formation||17 November 1991|
at Berlin, Germany
|Membership size||52 Members (50 full, 2 associate)|
|International federation||International Handball Federation (IHF)|
|IHF member since||1992|
|Secretary General||Martin Hausleitner|
|Number of staff||69|
|Sponsors||Infront Sports & Media |
Salming Sports AB
Axitour Communication Systems
EHF was founded on 17 November 1991 in Berlin, Germany, although the first EHF Congress convened on 5 June 1992 and assigned EHF's headquarters to Vienna, Austria from 1 September that year. In 2012 the EHF Office celebrated 20 years since it first opened its doors. In the subsequent years, the number of member countries has expanded from the initial 29 to its current number of 50, after Kosovo was granted full membership at the EHF Congress in Dublin, Ireland in September 2014. The EHF represents its members in the development of the sport both in terms of grassroots talent, as well as commercial growth. EHF-organised events such as the Men’s and Women’s European Handball Championships and the EHF Champions League represent major revenue contributors, while initiatives such as beach handball and handball at school expand the attraction of the sport.
|1||Staffan Holmqvist||17 November 1991 – 18 December 2004|
|2||Tor Lian||18 December 2004 – 22 June 2012|
|3||Jean Brihault||22 June 2012 – 17 November 2016|
|4||Michael Wiederer||17 November 2016 – present|
|1||Michael Wiederer||1 September 1992 – 17 November 2016|
Post vacant from 17 November 2016 to 1 August 2017
|2||Martin Hausleitner||1 August 2017 – present|
Following is the EHF Executive Committee for the term 2021 – 2025.
|Vice-President Finances||Henrik La Cour Laursen|
|Chairman of Competitions Commission||Božidar Đurković|
|Chairman of Methods Commission||Pedro Sequeira|
|Chairman of Beach Handball Commission||Gabriella Horváth|
|Executive Members||Stefan Lövgren|
|Francisco V. Blázquez García|
|Additional Representative||Bente Aksnes|
|Representative of Professional Handball Board||Gerd Butzeck|
|Representative of Women's Handball Board||Nodjialem Myaro|
|Representative of Nations Board||TBA|
- European championships
- European Men's Handball Championship
- European Women's Handball Championship
- European Men's U-20 Handball Championship
- European Women's U-19 Handball Championship
- European Men's U-18 Handball Championship
- European Women's U-17 Handball Championship
- European Open Handball Championship
- European Men's Beach Handball Championship
- European Women's Beach Handball Championship
- EHF Challenge Trophy
- European Beach Handball Championship
- European U19 Beach Handball Championship
- European U17 Beach Handball Championship
- European Handball Men's 19 EHF Championship
- European Handball Women's 19 EHF Championship
- EHF Trophy
- Women's Handball European Challenge Championships
- Men's Handball European Challenge Championships
- EHF Nations' Cup – Defunct
- Multi-sports events
- Men's club competitions
- EHF Champions League
- EHF European League (former EHF Cup)
- EHF Cup Winners' Cup (merged with the EHF Cup from the 2012/13 season)
- EHF European Cup (former EHF Challenge Cup and City Cup)
- European Beach Handball Tour
- EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup
- Women's club competitions
- Women's EHF Champions League
- Women's EHF European League (former Women's EHF Cup)
- Women's EHF Cup Winners' Cup (merged with the Women's EHF Cup from the 2016/17 season)
- Women's EHF European Cup (former Women's EHF Challenge Cup and City Cup)
- European Beach Handball Tour
- EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup
Current title holders
|European Men's Handball Championship||Spain (2020)||2nd|
|European Women's Handball Championship||France (2018)||1st|
|European Men's Junior Handball Championship||Slovenia (2018)||1st|
|European Women's Junior Handball Championship||Hungary (2019)||1st|
|European Men's Youth Handball Championship||Sweden (2018)||1st|
|European Women's Youth Handball Championship||Hungary (2019)||1st|
|European Men's Open Handball Championship||Faroe Islands (2019)||1st|
|European Women's Open Handball Championship||Hungary (2018)||1st|
|EHF Women's Challenge Trophy||Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018)||3rd|
|European Youth Olympic Festival (Men's Event)||Croatia (2019)||1st|
|European Youth Olympic Festival (Women's Event)||France (2019)||1st|
|European Men's Beach Handball Championship||Denmark (2019)||1st|
|European Women's Beach Handball Championship||Denmark (2019)||1st|
|European Men's Youth Beach Handball Championship||Russia (2015)|
|European Women's Youth Beach Handball Championship||Hungary (2015)|
|European Wheelchair Handball Nations’ Tournament||Croatia (2019)||1st|
|EHF Champions League||FC Barcelona Handbol (2021)||10th|
|EHF European League||SC Magdeburg (2021)||4th|
|EHF European Cup||AEK Athens (2021)||1st|
|Women's EHF Champions League||Vipers Kristiansand (2021)||1st|
|Women's EHF European League||Nantes Atlantique (2021)||1st|
|Women's EHF European Cup||Málaga Costa del Sol (2021)||1st|
Combined medal table
|Totals (22 nations)||111||108||110||329|
- The data is accurate as of 19 August 2018
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- Great Britain
- North Macedonia
EHF European Championships
The European Men's Handball Championship and European Women's Handball Championship are the flagship national team events of the European Handball Federation and rank amongst the leading indoor sports events on the international sports market. First played in 1994, the EHF EUROs have taken place in host nations across the continent on a biennial basis, with the men’s event held in January and the women’s in December.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2012, held in Serbia, attracted a cumulative global TV audience of 1.47 billion, and was transmitted by 75 broadcasters in more than 200 territories. A record 302,688 spectators also followed the event live in five venues across the countries.
The Men's EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark has set a new attendance record with 316,000 spectators.
The Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia achieved a cumulative audience of 723 million, which is the highest ever result for the championship. The result marks not only a 90 per cent increase on the 2012 edition (380 million), but also significantly tops the previous record set in 2006 (461 million). In terms of broadcast hours, the results were equally remarkable. With 1,919 broadcast hours, the tournament further confirmed its upward trend through an impressive 65 per cent climb of 758 hours compared to 2012. Overall, the tournament was aired in 145 countries.
EHF Champions League
The EHF Champions League was launched in the 1993/94 season for both men's and women's teams. The competition has developed considerably over the years, with the introduction of a distinctive blue lagoon and black floor in the 2007/08 season, the creation of an 'EHF Champions League' ball as well as changes to the format of the competition, which saw the introduction of a new 'Last 16' and the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in the 2009/10 season. From the start of the 2011/12 season, the VELUX Group added their name to the men's competition as title sponsor, and the competition became the VELUX EHF Champions League. The 20th jubilee season (2012/13) saw the launch of a brand new corporate identity and logo. The women's competition also introduced the final tournament for the first time in the 2013/14 season and added the quarter-final stage in the following edition.
EHF European Cup competitions
Over 250 clubs take part in the EHF European Cup competitions, which include EHF Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and Challenge Cup. The 2012/13 season saw a change to the men's European Cup competitions with the amalgamation of the EHF Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup to become simply the 'EHF Cup'. The change was introduced in order to create a three-tier competition system with the VELUX EHF Champions League at the top, followed by the EHF Cup and then the Challenge Cup. The same merging is planned for the 2016/17 season in the women's competitions. The EHF administers over 730 European club matches each year, which take place in all corners of the continent.
Beach handball originated on the beaches of Italy in the 1990s and has established itself as a sport in its own right within the EHF with the organisation of the European Beach Tour and European Championships for men, women and younger age categories. The first European Beach Handball Championships were held in 2000 in Gaeta (Italy) and the most recent was held in Lloret de Mar (Spain) in the summer of 2015. Beach handball is a World Games sport, making its debut in 2009. It will also have its premiere at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
The EHF has a number of projects and initiatives through which it supports the development of the sport generally and also in its member federations. These include:
- Rinck Convention: named after the EHF Honorary Member, and former chairman of the EHF Methods Commission, Claude Rinck. Its aim is the mutual recognition of standards and certificates in the field of coaches' education in handball in Europe by preserving and safeguarding the regional and national characteristics of coaches' education, in order to facilitate the direct admission to work as a handball coach, in each signatory member federation.
- SMART Projects: short term projects in member federations with specific aims and objectives; includes material support, coaching and technical support.
- Foster Projects: cooperation agreements between federations; usually between top-ranking and emerging nations to support the progress of handball's development.
- Infrastructure Support Programme (ISP): Longer term projects in partnership with member federations; offering part-funding of salaries of staff members, such as development officers to help build capacity in member federations.
The EHF issues awards to organisations and individuals in recognition of their particular contribution to developing the sport of handball and the EHF.
These awards are:
- EHF Honorary President and Honorary Member
- EHF Special Award
Since 2016, also there are awarded:
Criticism and controversies
On 19th July 2021, at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 tournament, the EHF Disciplinary Commission imposed a fine of €150 per player, for a total fine of €1,500 for wearing shorts instead of wearing bikini bottoms. This has led to claims of sexism within the organization from several people, including Norwegian Member of Parliment Lene Westgaard-Halle. The EHF released a statement saying that "The EHF is committed to bring this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level".
- "EHF birthday". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "EHF Office celebrates 20 years in Vienna". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Kosovo becomes a full member of the European Handball Federation". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
- "Handball Europena Championships Archive".
- "Women Handball European Challenge Championships Archive".
- "Men Handball European Challenge Championships Archive".
- "Beach Handball - Women's U-17 European Championships 2021 - Summary of the current competition".
- "Beach Handball - Men's U-17 European Championships 2021 - Summary of the current competition".
- "New Men's EHF Cup starting"
- "New look for a new season". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "New Men's EHF Cup starting"
- "European Beach Handball Championships: Norway hit with 1,500 euros bi…". BBC. 20 July 2021. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021.
- Lene Westgaard-Halle [@LeneWestgaard] (14 July 2021). "Dear @ihf_info" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Norway's beach handball team fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment. 21 July 2021.
- "Norway's beach handball team fined for refusing to wear bikini bottom…". 21 July 2021. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021.