The Icelandic Handball Federation (HSI) have been asking for data from the European Handball Federation (EHF) and the International Handball Federation (IHF) regarding the decision to award an open place to Germany in World Championship in Qatar 2015.
In a letter from EHF it is stated that no information had been sent to them regarding this decicison and they refer HSI‘s request to IHF.
A letter from IHF from yesterday, Tuesday 15th July, contains explanations given why Oceania was deprived of qualification. They refer to former communication between IHF and Oceania and HSI is not in any situation to assess the legitimacay of that decision but have doubts that retroactive decision passes law after the qualification competion has started.
Regarding the decision to award the open place to Germany, it is asserted on behalf of IHF that a decision on changing article 2.8 that deals with how to allocate an opening, was taken by IHF Council on May 30th 2014 and that was done so that the change would take place before it was known which nations would qualify through play-offs.
We have it confirmed by members of IHF Council that no meeting was held on May 30th 2014. On the other hand it seems as e-mails had been sent to members where it is requested that they give permission to change regulation.
It is therefore clear that the decision was not taken on May 30th 2014 as is asserted, but it was done on July 8th 2014.
It is in accordance with the fact that this change of regulation was not discussed at an EHF board meeting in June and that EHF gave out a statement on June 16th 2014 that Iceland would be the first nation to take place in World Championship in Quatar 2015 if some nation would withdraw.
HSI considers that changes that are made in rules and regulations regarding participation and competions rules will not take effect until the start of next competion. It is much more relevant in the case of burdensome decisions. That is based on general law definitions that apply equally to IHF regulations as other rules and regulations.
When the decision on July 8th was taken the qualification had started and the play-offs had been played and it was clear which nations qualified and what nation would have the right to take the open place if some nation would withdraw.
HSI have required to IHF that Iceland will be given the place that is open immediately and also demanded that the president of EHF which is also a member in the IHF Council will act on our behalf.
We have demanded answears before the end of July 17th.
With kind regards,
Icelandic handball federation
Guðmundur B Ólafsson, president
Einar Þorvarðarson, secretary general