PtG Article 14.01.2010

IHF Head of Sports Department resigns due to loyalty issues with IHF Director Moustafa

In a letter to all council members of the International Handball Federation, it was last week announced that the Head of Sports Department of the International Handball Federation (IHF), German Ekke Hoffmann has resigned from his post as of May 2010 because of discrepancies with the direction of the IHF.

The 66-year-old former national coach for the German female handball team gives two reasons for his resignation. Firstly, the environment at the IHF office in Basel has “changed significantly” since he started in May 2008,  Hoffmann says according to German newspaper Südwest Presse. In September last year the former IHF Head of Administration was replaced by Christoff Giessler, an allegedly close colleague of the powerful IHF Director Hassan Moustafa, who has been criticised for his high-handed ways of managing the federation.

Hoffmann's second reason for resigning was his difficulties in staying loyal to President Moustafa and the commissions of IHF.  "(…) such loyalty has its limits when it comes to own, important beliefs. This limit was reached several times in the recent weeks. It is therefore a logical consequence for me to finish my work from May 2010," says Hoffmann to Südwest Presse.

Former chairman of Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC) in IHF, Christer Ahl regrets the resignation of Hoffmann who he, in a comment on describes as “a person with an ideal background for the position and with the highest level of ethics and integrity.”

” But the president (of the IHF, red.) has managed to undermine Mr. Hoffmann’s situation to such an extent that he now feels forced to leave, rather than keeping his high position and collecting his salary for a job where much of the responsibility and the substance is being removed. (How unusual for the IHF, where, by contrast, some elected officials seem to prefer having very little to do, as long as they can have the nice title and all the benefits that go with it)”, Ahl continues his comment.

“It says a lot about the impotence of the IHF Executive Committee, and the failure of the majority of the Council members, if a situation such as this one is allowed to evolve, without anyone protesting or at least asking any serious questions. Perhaps, although it is a faint hope, someone in the Council will now decide to ask: how could this happen and what does it say about the president’s methods!? Not that it will cause Mr. Hoffmann to believe in sudden major change and make him change his mind, and not that the president will suddenly become a different person; but just perhaps it could make some people start wondering about the ramifications for the longer term, if there is no change – soon. I will not hold my breath, but hope is eternal, as they say…”, Ahl concludes.