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Date: 9/20/2017

The first major steps on the Former Players Project were taken at the 2017 IHF Super Globe, after the project was first introduced in 2011. At the Super Globe in Doha this August, six former national team players participated in a course run by members of the Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC) to learn about the structure of the IHF and the responsibilities of technical delegates.

Marco Oneto, Hong Jeongho, Jalel Touati, Daniela Piedade, PeiLi Long and Idalina Mesquita all had the opportunity to actively participate in matches, closely observing technical delegates working at the table.

“I stayed here outside and I started to see different things. I had to make very important decisions,” said Piedade of her experience. “I think this is for my future. I like it, I like to take some responsibility – it was the same on the court. I think it can be very good.”

All six players have enjoyed significant success on court, though none more so than Hong Jeongho. Jeongho had a long career in the Republic of Korea jersey, forming part of the team that claimed the 1995 World Championship title, making the Asian side the first non-European nation to win the event. Jeongho’s other achievements include three Olympic medals (gold in 1992, silver in 1996 and bronze in 2008) and individual merits such as being named in the 1996 Olympic All-star team.

Piedade was part of the only other non-European team to win the world title, as she was in Brazil’s squad at Serbia 2013. Piedade and fellow Brazilian Idalina Mesquita played three Olympic Games each, with both on court at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, while Mesquita represented Brazil at Sydney 2000 and Piedade did so at London 2012.

Also from Pan America, Marco Oneto is one of Chile’s most successful players, having won the EHF Champions League with FC Barcelona. Jalel Touati tallied 194 caps for Tunisia, while PeiLi Long once wore the jersey of People’s Republic of China.

“For me it has been a positive surprise to see how they want to cooperate with the IHF in this new position,” said PRC member Ramon Gallego. “In three days they have made great step forward, so we will see.

“My advice to them is to go back home and try to make some kind of training with official matches, and then they will feel what the position is like.”