With 50 member federations and two associated federations, the EHF is responsible for a wide range of tasks and activities from promotion and development through to the organisation of high-profile sports events. The EHF is affiliated to the International Handball Federation.
Founded in 1991, the EHF has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where both the federation and its marketing subsidiary, EHF Marketing GmbH, have their offices.
The EHF is responsible for the organisation of major international sports competitions such as the EHF EURO and the EHF Champions League including top events including the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and Women's EHF FINAL4.
Additionally, the federation is tasked with the promotion of the game, player transfers, referees and delegates, development and education programmes as well as newer versions of the game including beach handball, wheelchair handball and street handball.
Formed on 1 July 2015, EHF Marketing GmbH (EHFM) is the marketing arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EHF. The company is responsible for the marketing and media rights of the federation's club competitions including the VELUX EHF Champions League, Women's EHF Champions League and Men's EHF Cup.
The company works closely with marketing and media partners, as well as with Europe's leading clubs, to realise the full potential of the sport on the international sports market. The EHFM team is also responsible for the organisation of each season's final club events including the VELUX EHF FINAL4, Women's EHF FINAL4 and EHF Cup Finals.
The highest body of the federation, the EHF Congress, meets every two years. However, with calendar changes, instead of 2020, EHF Congress will meet in April 2021, in Luxembourg.
The EHF Executive Committee is the executive body of the EHF and is responsible for decisions on key sports-political issues.
EHF Congress elects the members of the technical commissions - Competitions, Methods and Beach Handball Commissions - whose chairs sit on the EHF Executive Committee. It also elects the members of the various legal bodies including the Court of Handball, Court of Appeal and Court of Arbitration Council as well as the Comptrollers.
The interests of the sport's various stakeholders including players, clubs, leagues and federations are represented through bodies including the Professional Handball Board, Nations Board and Women's Handball Board.
The EHF office provides the administration for all of the federation's competitions and activities. Established in 1992 in Vienna, shortly after the formation of the EHF, the office now has a staff of more than 55 sports professionals from numerous European nations, working in areas which include event management, marketing, communications, IT, finances, education and development.
The EHF oversees a busy calendar of events and competitions throughout the year from senior to youth levels in indoor handball, beach handball and wheelchair handball.
The federation's flagship national team and club competitions include the EHF EURO events and the EHF Champions League.
The Men's and Women's EHF EURO events are organised biennially with men's final tournaments taking place in January and women's events in December, both attracting a huge global audience.
In 2018, the Men's EHF EURO had strong TV interest, with coverage in 175 territories provided by 130 media outlets. Women’s EHF EURO set a new record in attendance as the 14,060 ecstatic fans watched spectacular final in Paris. Furthermore, at the end of the final match peak TV audience in France reached incredible 8.1 million viewers.
From 2020, the men's tournament will expand from 16 to 24 teams, it will be hosted in three countries and be the first to see the final matches played in front of 25,000 spectators in a football arena.
Since its launch season, the EHF Champions League has grown and developed to become the premier club league in handball and one of the leading competitions on the international sports market.
The competition has been constantly evolving since it was established, with new formats and initiatives including the introduction of new technologies such as 4K TV, goal line cameras, instant replay, iBall and new camera angles including the referee cam.
In 2010, the VELUX Group joined the men's competition as its first title sponsor and in the same year a change to the playing system saw the introduction of a final weekend - the VELUX EHF FINAL4.
Played in Germany, in front of a capacity crowd of 19,750 at Cologne's LANXESS arena, this mega sports and entertainment event has set a benchmark for indoor sports events in Europe.
A 'FINAL4' event was also added to the Women's EHF Champions League in the 2013/14 season and to a relaunched Men's EHF Cup in the 2012/13 season.
A key EHF task is developing handball and the people involved in delivering it whether they be coaches, officials or managers. The development work of the member federations is supported through a number of programmes including the SMART Project (time-limited, specific projects), Infrastructure Support Programme (financial and material support to build capacity and develop infrastructure) as well as the Foster Project (stronger handball countries supporting emerging nations).
Through the federation's Competence Academy and Network (CAN), the EHF also offers education programmes and initiatives including Young Coaches Workshops, EU projects ONSIDE and #BeActive funded through the Erasmus+ sport programme, mentoring coaches in women's youth handball and coach licensing. The programme is extended to courses for club managers and in 2015 the 'European Handball Manager' degree course was launched in conjunction with the German Sports University Cologne.
In 2012, the EHF created the 'EHF Anti-Doping Unit' (EAU) to control and monitor its anti-doping programme and also educate athletes and raise awareness of anti-doping issues.
The EHF Anti-Doping Unit is responsible for the arrangement and carrying out of controls, the development of awareness for non-intentional doping, the education and information process for young athletes, the coordination with national anti-doping agencies in Europe, the handling of therapeutic exemptions and further anti-doping measures.
All activities in connection with the foundation of the EHF Anti-Doping Unit were handled in a close coordination with the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA)/International Handball Federation (IHF) and were approved accordingly.
The EHF works with Sportradar, the world’s leading supplier of sports and betting-related data, to protect the integrity of its competitions.
Sportradar’s fraud detection services are employed to safeguard a range of EHF competitions, including the VELUX EHF Champions League, Women’s EHF Champions League and EHF EURO events, from potential threats through the use of its world-leading monitoring tools.
The company also provides intelligence and investigation services, which utilise a team of dedicated intelligence experts to help investigate any organisations or individuals who may be targeting European competitions.
Further information can be found onwww.sportradar.com