'I don't remember such a close EURO' - Michael Wiederer
The President of the European Handball Association thanked the Hungarian and Slovak organizing committees for their hard work at the closing press conference of the EHF EURO 2022 on Saturday, and also congratulated them on the successful organization of the tournament.
Michael Wiederer, President of the European Handball Federation, thanked the hard work by Hungarian and Slovak organizing committees at the press event, but also the teams for not turning back in this difficult situation and putting out their hearts and souls on the court. 'We have been facing huge challenges in the last two years, and we had to adopt the adjustments by omicron variant to our hygiene program right before the EURO. I would like to congratulate the Hungarian and Slovak colleagues for their efforts in this situation. The players, managers, delegates came to Hungary and Slovakia from 24 countries, from completely different environments, with different mentalities, and in their homeland they live by different rules. We did not think that we would not receive criticism, it is natural that there were tense situations, we respected all opinions and suggestions.
We were in constant contact with the national associations and teams, listening to them. I think we can be satisfied as we held every match. I’ve been following all the previous EUROs, none of them have been so fierce, I don’t remember there being so many close bouts. We have also experienced a very high level of the gamet,' said the President of the EHF.
Gabriella Horváth, Secretary General of the Hungarian Handball Federation, said that organizing the first international men's handball event in Hungary with its sizes was a great challenge, with a huge amount of work behind the organizers, in which more than 700 volunteers helped. New sports halls were built, the interest was great, and the handball arena in Budapest was full during the matches of the Hungarian national team.
The pandemic determined the organizing work, nearly 15,000 tests have been carried out at the EURO, and teams and national federations have been constructive partners in their daily lives.
'We are very grateful to our Slovak friends for sticking with us, I think it was a forward-looking and exemplary cooperation. I would like to thank the European, Hungarian and Slovak Handball Federations for the opportunity to organize, thank you for standing by us and helping us with our work.'
'We were not only co-organizers, we also made friends in our Hungarian colleagues,' said Jaroslav Holesa, President of the Slovak Handball Federation. - We had big plans and goals in 2019 when we won the event. We wanted to put the sport back on track and build community. The organizing work was interrupted by the general closing in Slovakia in November, but we are glad that the matches took place in front of spectators, albeit in limited numbers. The support of the Hungarians meant a lot to us.'
Predrag Boskovic, the first vice-president of EHF, emphasized that the construction of the new arenas in Budapest and Szeged had opened up new opportunities for European handball. He mentioned that the master coach program was a great opportunity for professionals these days as Respect your talent! program was also forward-looking.
EHF Secretary General, Martin Hausleitner gave some impressive figures of the EURO: matches were broadcast in 140 countries, 75 per cent of TV viewers in Denmark watched the national team's top matches, 1 million in Croatia and 5 million in Germany.
At the end of the press conference, the organizers of the world competitions ahead of us, such as the Women's EHF EURO 2024 in Slovenia-North Macedonia-Montenegro, the EHF EURO 2024 in Germany and the Polish-Swedish Men's World Handball Championships in 2023, gave presentations.
The press event ended with the draw of the qualifiers of the last mentioned tournament, the Hungarian national team will play the winner of the Israel-Lithuania matchup in March and April to advance to the world championship in 2023.
The official EHF EURO 2022 website
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