Today SportBild/Germany, No 50/2010, published an interview with the IHF President. Hassan Moustafa expressed himself about the death of handball, smaller goals, reduction of the number of big competitions, glue, finances, too many foreigners in German TOYOTA Handball-Bundesliga (HBL) and the future of Heiner Brand.
?SportBild: Mr. Moustafa, you are receiving us in a really marvellous Villa.
Hassan Moustafa (65): Thank you, we like it as well. Did you receive already a guided tour through the location?
?SportBild: No, not yet.
Hassan Moustafa (65): We’ll do it later. The IHF used to have only a few rented rooms in Basel which were no longer sufficient for our needs. I explained to the town mayor that we have to move to Lausanne, if we do not succeed to change this. After that we were offered this Villa for 2.3 Mio Euros. We took the chance, as we received 1 Mio USD support from the International Olympic Committee.
?SportBild: As President of the World federation IHF you are not afraid of big amounts. How much the federation is earning with the World Championship, taking place next January in Sweden?
Hassan Moustafa (65): Between 75 and 80 Million Swiss Francs (between 58 and 62 Mio Euros). When I took the leadership 10 years ago, it was 12 Million Swiss Francs (9 Mio Euros). Handball is on the right track.
?SportBild: You are regarded as the Sepp Blatter of Handball. This is not necessarily a compliment, as you are attracting a lot of critics like the President of the Football World Federation.
Hassan Moustafa (65): Sepp is a good friend of mine. We understand each other very well, we meet on regular basis, exchange opinions. Look, I played Handball myself, I was coach and an international referee. I am not a normal President, I am a technician. An expert with his own ideas.
?SportBild: Which ideas?
Hassan Moustafa (65): I myself was a backline player, I graduated about goalkeeper play. The goalkeeper is 30-35% of the success of a team. His actions are the most spectacular moments for the fans. I would reduce the size of the goals. Also I think it to be possible, to enlarge the goalkeeper area from 6 to 7 meters.
?SportBild: Why that?
Hassan Moustafa (65): A goalkeeper can make more saves and as a consequence start more attacks – and Handball will become even faster. We are also tackling the glue problem.
?SportBild: The glue problem?
Hassan Moustafa (65): Yes. Glue increases the grip of the ball. But after a few minutes the playing ground is dirty, and you do not see the advertising and the color of the ball. This is bad. We are working together with our partners in order to develop non visible glue substitute. We are also thinking about different floors and shoe soles.
?SportBild: Are there any new calendar ideas? The biggest resistance is arising out of the packed calendar. Every year either a World Championship or a European Championship. Additionally Olympic Games every four years. Are you going to change this?
Hassan Moustafa (65): No, this would be the death of handball. We need these competitions and the according earnings, in order to develop Handball worldwide.
?SportBild: The German National team coach Heiner Brand cancelled a training last week, as his players were to tired.
Hassan Moustafa (65): When I used to be the President of the Egyptian Federation, we had the following rule: First priority is with the National team, second priority is with the National team, third priority is with the National team. In Germany it’s different. The league should support Heiner, but it does not. I know, the clubs do not like to hear it: I would be the best, if the German Federation would control the German league.
Hassan Moustafa (65): A league match of, for example, Grosswallstadt and Kiel has a television audience of 300.000. If Germany is fighting for medals in a World Championship, only in Germany you have more than 10 Million spectators. That is important.
?SportBild: Germany became World Champion in 2007, but is no candidate for the title in Sweden. Why?
Hassan Moustafa (65): The German Bundesliga has too many foreigners. This league is promoting the stars from France and Croatia, playing in this league. So the German players get the shorter end. Heiner can not enforce his position. This is a pity.
?SportBild: Heiner Brand was very angry with you when the IHF awarded the World Championship 2005 to Tunesia. The German Federation wished to remove you during these times.
Hassan Moustafa (65): Directly after such a decision very often the anger is big. Later one understands things. The German Federation is our biggest and most important member, an exception. I am in a good relation with Heiner. I would be glad, if he would provide his knowledge to IHF after his time as a National team coach.
?SportBild: Your are offering a job to Brand, once he finished his job as National team coach in 2013?
Hassan Moustafa (65): If he has good ideas, we will listen to him. Handball needs ideas and specialists as Heiner Brand.
SportBild 50/2010, Interview by D. Gessner and S. Beckedahl, 15.12.2010