The EHF President Michael Wiederer: “The Partille Cup plays an important role”
The President of The European Handball Federation, Michael Wiederer, is here to see the final in the European Open Championship.
The EHF President Michael Wiederer landed in Gothenburg yesterday and will hand over the trophy and the medals to the winners in the European Open Championship final tonight.
– The Partille Cup and The EHF play an important role in the handball education for the players, he says.
The European Handball Federation has a partnership with the Partille Cup since 1994. Together they created the national team competition The European Open Championship. It has been played since 2005 as an special class within the Partille Cup. Girls aged 16 play this year and next year it will be 17-year-old boys.
– It’s really good, simply because the players have a five year circle with different championships. Then players are used to championships and a lot of high level matches when they are 20 or 21. It gives them a good start and they will hopefully become professional players. The Partille Cup and The EHF plays an important role in the handball education, says Michael Wiederer when we meet him at his hotel.
In 1992 he become the Secretary General for the European Handball Federation. The Swede Staffan Holmqvist was the President of the EHF back then. In 2016, Michael Wiederer was selected as President.
– It was no competition against me so it was an understanding that this will work, Michael Wiederer says.
In September he celebrates 30 years in the European Handball Federation.
– We will have time för a small anniversary celebration later, he says.
He's been to the Partille Cup many times over the years, both of private and professional reasons.
– My daughter Lisa played here between nine and 18 and also played in the EOC. She stopped playing when she was 19 years old. Now she organizes the Final Four in Cologne. My wife was a national team player. We’re really a handball family.
Michael Wiederer like the purpose with the Partille Cup.
– The Partille Cup is about meeting people. This is a meeting place. It’s important for the young people to understand that they are part of something big. The sport brings people from all other the world together here. It’s joy here and also stress about building a team and changing weathers. I think the referees are doing a great job. They do there job in all weather conditions.
– When I’m here, I always walk on Heden, just to feel the atmosphere. The best thing is to see the people’s ambitions.
He thinks that the tournament is very well organized.
– The Partille Cup plays an important role and is well known. Mr Stefan Albrechtson is doing a good job since many years in promoting this tournament and building relationships. It’s not the players that decide to go here, it’s the coaches that often have to convince the parents. So, it's also a network question, the President says.
He thinks that the future of Swedish handball looks bright.
– Sweden is one of the best handball countries in Europe. The men’s team won the European Championship in Budapest this year. A challenge for the Swedish league is that the top players goes to Germany and other countries of economic reasons. It would be nice to have a Swedish top club that goes far in the Champions League. Kristianstad was close, with great home matches and many supporters. Both IK Sävehof’s men’s and women’s team have played in the Champions League. They are traditionally better on the women’s side, because they can often keep players in the club. Let’s hope that we will see more Swedish clubs on international level, says Michael Wiederer.
The President will watch the EOC final between Romania and Spain in Scandinavium tonight.
– It’s a final we haven’t seen before. It’s good to see the next generation. I will be handing over the trophy and the medals to the winning team, he says.
Nice to have you here, Mr President!