PtG Article 20.11.2017

IHF President set to carry on pursuit of member nations

Recently re-elected Hassan Moustafa is poised to continue his enlargement of the International Handball Federation (IHF) following vote to extend his 17-year tenure as President of the world’s handball body.

Earlier this month, at the 25th Ordinary Congress of the IHF in Antalya, Turkey, members of the International Handball Federation (IHF) re-elected Hassan Moustafa as IHF President – adding 4 years to his 17-year tenure as IHF head.

Hassan, who was first elected President of the IHF in 2000, has previously faced allegations of corruption. As such, it may appear surprising that he was re-elected.

However, according to Per Bertelsen, IHF board member and President of the Danish Handball Federation (DHF), most member federations are happy with the way things are run by Moustafa.

“A lot of the federations, e.g. in Africa, are happy with the status quo,” Bertelsen explained in a recent interview with Danish newspaper, Politiken.

In his 17 years as President of the IHF, Moustafa has recruited more than 60 new members to join the organisation. Research by Politiken in 2015 indicated that a large number of member federations in the IHF are hardly active in the sport.

At this month’s IHF congress in Antalya, formal proceedings began with the confirmation of three new IHF Member Federations: Fiji, Timor-Leste, Jamaica - none of them hosts national handball leagues.

When asked by Politiken why the IHF seems so heavily concerned about expanding, Bertelsen states that:

“It is, without a doubt, about cementing IHF’s position in the IOC. Size matters when you want to remain on the Olympic agenda. And we [representatives of handball] want to.”

Play the Game 2017


The increasing number federations accepted as members of the IHF without being actively engaged in the sport, will be discussed further at Play the Game 2017 when Politiken journalist, Jeppe Laursen Brock, will present his conclusions concerning the topic.