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Date: 8/12/2010

Miguel Roca is known to be a very considerate man. The IHF Vice President, who is IHF Representative at the 3rd Women’s Youth WCh in the Dominican Republic, was however unusually stressed on the first days of this event. Many problems had arisen during the WCh that had to be solved. We talked to the Spaniard about rather unconventional solutions and his conclusion of the WCh.

Mister Roca, the 3rd Women’s Youth World Championship is nearing its end. Has the federation of the Dominican Republic succeeded in organizing a WCh?
If we take the whole organization into consideration, we cannot avoid mentioning some aspects that have caused us a lot of work here in the Dominican Republic. But we also have to keep in mind that the federation of this country is still very young and that it was the first time they hosted a WCh like this. Under these circumstances, it’s completely normal that problems arise – especially on the first days. The same also happens in other countries. In this case, it took about four days before the Championship was running smoothly.

Which circumstances complicated the situation in particular?
The situation was caused by circumstances for which the Dominican federation is not responsible. After all no one could have expected that the team from Kazakhstan would have to wait several days for their luggage. And it was even less foreseeable that the team from the Ivory Coast would not even arrive. This caused great harm to the event.

In what way?
Well, we had to rearrange a lot: The match schedule was largely affected, the training hours, the hotel bookings, the whole transportation – everything had to be reorganized. But afterwards the tournament was going well. I think this was an important experience for the federation of this country which can learn a lot for the future from the whole situation. Now the responsible people know exactly how difficult it is to organize a WCh.

How do you rate this event in terms of sport?
If we assume that we saw the future of women’s handball, the level was not particularly high in my opinion. There are some talents who show great promise for the future. I don’t really want to compare men to women, but one year ago, we saw the men’s youth at the WCh in Tunisia and their level was much higher. It shows that we have to strengthen our efforts in terms of women’s handball. We need more high-level competitions and well-trained coaches, and we have to continue developing women’s handball in the countries outside Europe.

Sounds a bit like you were disappointed.
No. I saw some talents here who played on the highest level. But the number is too small. What makes me think is that seven of the eight quarterfinalists were from Europe. We have to encourage also the other federations around the world to work with their young players.

How does the IHF support these federations?
We are already doing a lot. We have concepts, we help the federations to train their coaches and then there are also the continental federations which have to contribute to this support.

The same applies to the referees, doesn’t it?
There are some referee teams outside Europe that perform very well. I’m sure that they will go their way. And that’s just fine. If we want to develop handball outside Europe, we also have to think about the referees. But I’m quite optimistic about that. Nevertheless, we certainly still have a lot of work ahead of us.

The interview was conducted by Arnulf Beckmann