Michael Wiederer, the president of the European Handball Federation (EHF), took advantage of the Final Four of the Men’s Champions League, this Sunday in Cologne, to confirm what we suspected: “It is obvious that for next season we will not have Russian and Belarusian clubs in EHF competitions. » Wiederer had previously recalled that these Federations are ” our partners “ and “the dialogue is maintained”.
While the registration process for the 2022-23 European season is underway, the EHF executive committee, meeting on Friday in Cologne, discussed the participation of Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian clubs for the upcoming season. And specified: “The appeal of the Russian Handball Federation was dismissed by a decision of the EHF Court of Appeal on May 6, 2022. The case is not yet closed. Further handling of the issue will follow during the registration process. »
Ukrainian teams on standby
But to read the report of the EHF, a reinstatement was therefore not to be expected for the moment. “With no change in the situation in the conflict region and stressing that it is the ultimate responsibility of the EHF to protect the integrity of its competitions and ensure the safety of all participating teams and players, the Executive Committee confirmed the status quo. »
As for the participation of Ukrainian teams, the European body added: “A decision will be made once the registration process for the interclub competitions is complete. » Still, the relocation of certain activities of the Ukrainian Federation to Germany could allow the Zaporodje club to evolve in German D2.
Cologne host of the Final Four until 2026
During this press briefing, Michael Wiederer also mentioned the current formula of the Champions League, with 16 clubs, believing that it has helped to strengthen the European League. He also considered that the wild card system was not called into question for the time being.
Finally, this weekend, the contract with Cologne for the organization of the Final Four of the Men’s Champions League was confirmed until 2026. The German city has been the host since 2010.