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Date: 12/17/2017

On the final day of Germany 2017, three press conferences took place including the Germany 2017 Closing Press Conference, 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship - Germany/Denmark Press Conference and 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship – Japan Press Conference.

IHF.info brings you all the statements and facts from all three – starting with the Germany 2017 Closing Press Conference.

Dr. Hassan MOUSTAFA: IHF President

It is my pleasure to be sitting here with you to attend the final press conference of this world championship in Germany. I welcome all our guests, including the DHB President and Secretary General as well as Joel Delplanque, the first time for him as the IHF First Vice President, and the first time, officially, for Per Bertlesen as Chairperson of the IHF Commission of Organising and Competition.

We are happy with the Germany 2017 Organising Committee and I want to thank them and express my gratitude for their high level of organisation, it was excellent.

I also want to thank all of the media for covering the championship - thank you so much in the name of the IHF.

We are very happy with the performance of the teams and the referees here which is very important for us.

If you have followed the matches you will see that the direction for our sport in the future is to reduce the aggressiveness of the players, especially in defence. This is why you have seen a lot of two-minute suspensions in the past for the players. Handball is a beautiful sport, a nice sport and an attractive sport, but if we can reduce this aggressiveness and concentrate on making it faster and faster, this will make our sport very attractive. 

With this direction of our sport, handball reached the second highest ticket sales at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where we started concentrating on the game having less aggression, and fewer interruptions. This is very important for us and is the difference between handball and other team sports. 

The IHF has been concentrating on how we are working with women’s handball for the future and have had many different meetings here in Germany, including the meeting of the Women’s Handball Working Group. All of these meetings are looking at how we can develop women’s handball worldwide, through our commissions, and we have to study why women’s handball is not the same as men’s in relation to television, spectators and income. 

We are working in this direction to study how we can work together with national federations to improve the performance and standard of women’s handball so it can be equal with the men for the future, this also includes increasing the number of women working for the IHF at world championships, and with our ‘Former Players Project’ we are looking at help and support from women to work with us towards our vision of the IHF hoping to organise a world championship only with women in the future, in 4, 6, 8 years.

The final two games – the bronze medal match and final –  like Denmark 2015, will be whistled by two female referee pairs. Also, the IHF has three women on the IHF Council for the first time, after the Congress last month and we have two women out of five places on the IHF Executive Committee, but we still need help and support from the national federations.

With regards to anti-doping, 112 tests were carried out and all were negative – this was the highest number compared to the last championship.

Unfortunately, the German team went out at the eighth-finals, but people here in Germany love sport and they still came to support this championship and I want to thank all the supporters who not only supported their own teams, but our sport. Yesterday and today we will have a full house, leading to the total of 237,263 spectators here in Germany, more than compared to Denmark 2015, which had 165,000.

Our Commission of Coaching and Methods (CCM) wanted to mention the high speed of the games here at Germany 2017. We had decided, with the referees, not to make interruptions, and have been working on this and it is in a very good way. We also have closer games, a difference of 1,2,3 goals and this is very good for a world championship. 

We have also been working very hard with the China team, and I had a very good meeting with the new Sports Minister, but I want to welcome a new guest into the group of strong teams: Japan.

Japan is a new guest and are very important for us, not only for 2019, but also for the Olympic Games in 2020. I also want to congratulate the new President of the Japan Handball Association and wish them very good luck for the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship and 2020 Olympic Games.

Andreas MICHELMANN: President – German Handball Association (DHB)

Thank you to the IHF and to President Moustafa for giving us the chance to be the hosts for this World Championship. 

Our first target was to be a good host for the teams from all over the world and, after talking, to team leaders at all venues, despite some small trouble with the traffic, the teams have said it was good.

Our second target was to be successful with our own team, but it was not to be as we lost against Denmark. The DHB needs to work harder over the next few years so we can play in a semi-final in 6-8 years and be at the level of the top nations in the world of handball. 

We have invested EURO 500,000 in this championship, and in women’s handball. We had more spectators than we expected in this tournament in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Oldenburg and Trier with around 240,000 attending and that’s why, with exception to our sporting target, we had a very good championship here in Germany. 

Thanks to the IHF, the delegates, the organisers, the cities and the teams, who played a really good championship, and a special thanks to the 800 volunteers. We hope for a very good final.

Joel DELPLANQUE: IHF First Vice President

I know it is not very easy organising a World Championship as I have a little bit of experience of this.

I want to congratulate my colleague, the President of the DHB, because it was a very, very good event in a very good atmosphere. For the teams, it was perfect regarding hotels and accommodation.