|Hassan Moustafa- President, International Handball Federation|
|Profile of the week|
Monday, 24 September 2012 09:03
Dr. Hassan Moustafa is the President of the International Handball Federation (IHF), a position he has held since 2000.
Dr. Moustafa founded and presided over the Mediterranean Handball Association from 1999 to 2003, was Chairman of the EOC Scientific commission between 1992 and 1996 and Chairman of the EOC Planning commission from 1992 to 1996.
Prior to his career in sports administration, Dr. Moustafa enjoyed a strong playing career at international level, representing Egypt for 10 years.
In addition, he played for the Ahly Club in Cairo for 15 years, before becoming an international referee and a trainer for his club and country.
Dr. Moustafa is a bachelor of Physical Education, and has released two theses, one about the administration of handball, and one about the role of goalkeepers.
What are your main tasks as President of the International Handball Federation?
Generally speaking, my main task is to work in all directions to make handball more popular around the world and to attract more spectators, either in the arenas or in front of the TV. All major developments and improvements is linked to several other tasks, such as keeping the Rules on an up-to-date level, for example, to account for the speed of our sport.
Another point with regard to the increasing popularity is to support less-developed handball nations to increase their level compared to international standard. Several IHF projects as the IHF Trophy tournaments, Olympic Solidarity or handball@school were launched in recent years to improve and develop structures and individuals, like coaches, players or referees all over the world.
From the representative’s point of view, I cooperate and liaise with sports organisations like the IOC, ASOIF and WADA. Handball has its importance in the world of sport, and I hope to fulfil my tasks in representing the handball family and in shaping the future of our sport as part of the Olympic sports family and - internally - as part of the governing body of the International Handball Federation. It’s my obligation to gather the handball family under one umbrella at Congresses and meetings to march in one direction. In this context, it is a major task to increase the number of member federations of the IHF.
Last but not least, one of the most important tasks is to protect our athletes from doping, as they are the main actors of our sport.
You were an active handball player at international level. How has your experience as a player helped you in your current position?
I was not only a handball player on national team level for ten years, but I was also an international coach and an international referee. I wrote my master’s degree thesis about the importance of goalkeepers in handball. In my opinion it is important and a matter of course that the president of a sports federation knows his sport from within to communicate to all major stakeholders of the handball family in a language everybody understands. Without this ‘language” it is not possible to cooperate and promote our sport.
What is your favourite memory as a player?
When I had my first call-up fo Egypt men’s team we played against the German side of DHFK Leipzig, a very strong team in those days. Compared to them we were like juniors and lost the match with a big goal difference. The half-time result was around 12:4. I had scored two goals of our four and I was very disappointed. My coach asked me: “Why are you so down? You scored half of our goals!”
How has handball progressed since you became President?
The answer contains many different parts. First of all, the world has changed. When I became President, smart phones had not been invented, the internet had just recently found its way into the world and the sporting competition was lucid with just a very few fun, extreme or adventure sports. Therefore, fields of activities were really different. Our current task is to bring handball to schools, to attract young people to our sport.
Secondly, our sport has grown on a global scale. Handball roots were solely found in Europe formerly. The other continents have meanwhile made up ground. The IHF considerably influenced that development through projects such as the Global Coaching Clinic, handball@school or the Olympic Solidarity. The IHF enables all federations in all continents to progress and to develop handball. We lend them ‘tools’ and experts, and it pays off all around the world.
Thirdly, you have to consider professional handball. There has been an increased professionalism of handball in recent years. Professional players participating in World Championships are compensated and insured during the tournaments. The IHF knows that professional top players, in particular, are great idols of kids and young adults all around the world. That’s the reason why we are happy to get them involved in projects drawn up for young hopefuls. Thus, the speed of handball and the extraordinary increased number of spectators in the arenas and TV audience. We are proud to be among the top five TV sports of Olympic Games.