PtG Article 02.05.2011

IHF proposes new ’autocratic’ by-laws

At the International Handball Federation’s (IHF) congress starting today in Morocco, participants will be voting on a new set of by-laws. Former IHF official Christer Ahl describes the new by-laws as autocratic and centralistic and urges delegates to vote against them.

In a blog post on the website, former President of the IHF Playing Rules and Referee Commission Christer Ahl argues that a clear purpose of the proposed by-laws is to take away decision making power from anyone but the very top of IHF.

“the main focus of the proposed changes is on a totally outdated and inappropriate trend of shifting power from all other stakeholders to the IHF. The IHF has always used a ‘top down’ style, but now there is a strengthening of this undemocratic approach, with a focus on the rights and privileges of the IHF and the duties and obligations of the continental and national federations.”

Ahl’s biggest concern, if the by-laws pass, is the role of the IHF Council which will be totally separated from the Executive Committee and the President.

“Ideally this (the Council) should be a key decision-making body on a continuous basis, both on general policy issues and on major financial issues. Of course it should also have a major role in developing goals and strategies. But the proposal is for the Council to continue to have a rather vague or obscure role, at the mercy of the President and totally overshadowed by him and the Executive Committee,” states Ahl in his post.

According to Ahl, the new regulations will leave all financial control more or less in the hands of the IHF President himself. Another move towards a more centralistic organisation is the elimination of the General Secretary leaving the IHF President alone at the top.

“This would in any circumstances be undesirable and contrary to the best interests of any international organization that wants to reflect modern management principles and the increased degree of participation that is being sought around the world,” he writes.

Ahl finishes off his post by encouraging all delegates at the congress to vote against the proposed by-laws.