(photo: EHF CL, Mandatory credit – Uros Hocevar, kolektiff)
The COVID-19 pandemic has halted everyday life, including sports, all over the world. On Wednesday (25 March), the European Handball Federation announced that no matches organised under the umbrella of the EHF will be played in April and May.
The VELUX EHF FINAL4, the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 and the MEN’S EHF Cup Finals have therefore been postponed and moved to their alternative dates in August and September.
With the announcement, the EHF released a feasibility study that outlines a competition plan that sees – provided the situation around the coronavirus allows for it – matches resuming at the beginning of June.
This study and its potential effects and consequences sparked a number of questions within the handball community which EHF President Michael Wiederer addresses in an interview with eurohandball.com:
On Wednesday, the EHF presented a feasibility study for a potential re-start of European handball as of June 2020. Given the uncertainty how the situation around the coronavirus develops, this seems to be a very theoretical approach.
Michael Wiederer: It is exactly the opposite; it clarifies the situation in a two-way strategy and, following the well-known phrase from literature in an adapted form, “to play, or not to play”, this is the question. And we are offering solutions for both situations.
What was the main motivation behind the study’s release, and are there already reactions?
Michael Wiederer: The main motivation was that in a crisis situation it is within the responsibility of the leadership to take a position and to offer solutions. Regarding the reactions, there are just positive reflections quite logically with questions arising.