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Date: 2/1/2009

By tradition the International Handball Federation and the organising federation take stock on the final WCh day. IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa spoke of a very good and successful WCh tournament staged in a land of handball enthusiasts. "The people put all their heart into the organisation and made their contribution." 

The figures of the WCh spoke for themselves: Media coverage was assured by 1,568 journalists and moving pictures were spread across 150 countries. 400,000 spectators poured into the halls to watch the matches, according to Sandi Sola, President of the Croatian Handball Federation, corresponding to 90% of the full capacity. 

Moustafa underlined that ‘traditional' handball nations had returned to their forte such as Romania and Serbia. ‘Newcomer countries like Slovakia or Macedonia also presented themselves in excellent shape. "I share the joy with those teams about their fine appearance", Moustafa stated. He also pointed out the many close matches staged during the tournament, which had been a real thrill until the final whistle. "This favours the development of handball; capturing TV viewers in particular.

"54 doping tests were executed until the final matchday. All of them were negative. Another 6 will be executed on the final matchday", Dr Moustafa reported, underlining that the IHF was in full compliance with the WADA Code to fight against doping. The President and Treasurer 

Miguel Roca also gave a positive statement about the referee performance. "Like the teams of Sweden or Germany, the global refereeing went through a change. Our programme targeted at young hopefuls has paid off. I am quite satisfied with the referees' performance here in Croatia", Dr Moustafa.

Tor Lian, President of the European Handball Federation (EHF) also praised the work of the WCh host. "We have been the guest of a country that shows great enthusiasm for our sport. From the European point of view we are proud of this development." Sandi Sola was happy about the compliments. His thanks went to the 10,000 volunteers for their great efforts during the WCh. 

"The local organising committees did a fantastic job", Leon Kalin, involved in the organisation on behalf of the IHF, added. Sola hopes the positive WCh outcome will pave the way for more positive aspects. "Could be that there will be more children playing handball in the streets instead of football in the near future."