European Handball Federation
Other sports
Year of formation17 November 1991; 32 years ago (1991-11-17)
Berlin, Germany
Membership size52 Members (50 full, 2 associate)
International federationInternational Handball Federation (IHF)
IHF member since1992
PresidentMichael Wiederer
  • Hoffingergasse 18, 1120 Vienna
Secretary GeneralMartin Hausleitner
Official Language(s)English
Number of staff69
SponsorsInfront Sports & Media
Gerflor Group
Sport Radar

The European Handball Federation (EHF) is the umbrella organisation for European handball. Founded on 17 November 1991, it is made of 50 member federations and two associated federations (England and Scotland), and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.


EHF was founded on 17 November 1991 in Berlin, Germany, although the first EHF Congress convened on 5 June 1992 and assigned EHF's headquarters to Vienna, Austria from 1 September that year.

In 2012, the EHF Office celebrated 20 years since it first opened its doors.[1] In the subsequent years, the number of member countries has expanded from the initial 29 to its current number of 50, after Kosovo was granted full membership at the EHF Congress in Dublin, Ireland in September 2014.[2] The EHF represents its members in the development of the sport both in terms of grassroots talent, as well as commercial growth. EHF-organised events such as the Men's and Women's European Handball Championships and the EHF Champions League represent major revenue contributors, while initiatives such as beach handball and handball at school expand the attraction of the sport.

After-effects of Russian invasion of Ukraine

After Russia launched the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Handball Federation in February 2022 suspended Russia and Belarus both in competitions for national teams and on club level.[3][4] It suspended the national teams of Russia and Belarus as well as Russian and Belarusian clubs competing in European handball competitions.[5] Referees, officials, and commission members from Russia and Belarus will not be called upon for future activities.[5] And new organisers will be sought for the YAC 16 EHF Beach Handball EURO and the Qualifier Tournaments for the Beach Handball EURO 2023, which were to be held in Moscow.[5] In addition, it refused to allow competitions to be held in Russia or Belarus.[3] The Russian Handball Federation failed in its appeal against the decision to exclude Russia's teams from continental competition, which was rejected by the European Handball Federation Court of Handball.[3]


S. No. Name Tenure
1 Sweden Staffan Holmqvist [fr] 17 November 1991 – 18 December 2004
2 Norway Tor Lian 18 December 2004 – 22 June 2012
3 France Jean Brihault 22 June 2012 – 17 November 2016
4 Austria Michael Wiederer 17 November 2016 – present

Secretary Generals

S. No. Name Tenure
1 Austria Michael Wiederer 1 September 1992 – 17 November 2016
Post vacant from 17 November 2016 to 1 August 2017
2 Austria Martin Hausleitner 1 August 2017 – present

EHF Executive Committee

Following is the EHF Executive Committee for the term 2021 – 2025.

Designation Name
President Austria Michael Wiederer
Vice-president Montenegro Predrag Bošković
Vice-president Finances Denmark Henrik La Cour Laursen
Chairman of Competitions Commission Serbia Božidar Đurković
Chairman of Methods Commission Portugal Pedro Sequeira
Chair of Beach Handball Commission Hungary Gabriella Horváth
Executive Members Sweden Stefan Lövgren
Spain Francisco V. Blázquez García
Slovenia Franjo Bobinac
Additional Representative Norway Bente Aksnes
Representative of Professional Handball Board Spain Xavier O'Callaghan Ferrer
Representative of Women's Handball Board France Nodjialem Myaro
Representative of Nations Board Germany Mark Schober


Results History:[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

European championships
Multi-sports events
Men's club competitions
Women's club competitions


Last Update:15 August 2023

  1. European Men's Handball Championship (1994-2022) - 15 Editions
  2. European Women's Handball Championship (1994-2022) - 15 Editions
  3. European Men's U-20 Handball Championship (1996-2022) - 13 Editions
  4. European Women's U-19 Handball Championship (1996-2023) - 14 Editions
  5. European Men's U-18 Handball Championship (1992-2022) - 16 Editions
  6. European Women's U-17 Handball Championship (1992-2023) - 16 Editions
  7. European Men's Beach Handball Championship (2000-2023) - 13 Editions
  8. European Women's Beach Handball Championship (2000-2023) - 13 Editions
1 Denmark (DEN)19161752
2 Russia (RUS)12181040
3 Germany (GER)1211831
4 Norway (NOR)129728
5 Spain (ESP)11141237
6 Hungary (HUN)1061329
7 France (FRA)921021
8 Croatia (CRO)810826
9 Sweden (SWE)87520
10 Romania (ROU)3238
11 Serbia (SRB)2259
12 Ukraine (UKR)2226
13 Portugal (POR)1304
14 Slovenia (SLO)1236
15 Belarus (BLR)1113
 Iceland (ISL)1113
17 Poland (POL)1102
18 Italy (ITA)1023
19 Montenegro (MNE)1012
20 Netherlands (NED)0437
21 Czech Republic (CZE)0202
22 Turkey (TUR)0123
23 Lithuania (LTU)0101
24 Austria (AUT)0022
Totals (24 entries)115115115345

Current title holders


Competitions Current champion Title
European Men's Handball Championship  France (2024) 4th
European Women's Handball Championship  Norway (2022) 9th
European Men's Junior Handball Championship  Spain (2022) 3rd
European Women's Junior Handball Championship  Hungary (2023) 3rd
European Men's Youth Handball Championship  Spain (2022) 2nd
European Women's Youth Handball Championship  France (2023) 2nd
European Men's Open Handball Championship  Faroe Islands (2019) 1st
European Women's Open Handball Championship  Hungary (2018) 1st
EHF Women's Challenge Trophy  Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018) 3rd
European Youth Olympic Festival (Men's Event)  Germany (2023) 3rd
European Youth Olympic Festival (Women's Event)  France (2023) 2nd

Beach handball

Competitions Current champion Title
European Men's Beach Handball Championship  Hungary (2023) 1st
European Women's Beach Handball Championship  Germany (2023) 3rd
European Men's Youth Beach Handball Championship  Sweden (2021) 1st
European Women's Youth Beach Handball Championship  Hungary (2021) 8th

Wheelchair handball

Competitions Current champion Title
European Wheelchair Handball Nations' Tournament  Croatia (2019) 1st


Competitions Current champion Title
EHF Champions League Germany SC Magdeburg (2022–23) 4th
EHF European League Germany Füchse Berlin (2022–23) 3rd
EHF European Cup Serbia Vojvodina (2022–23) 1st
Women's EHF Champions League Norway Vipers Kristiansand (2022–23) 3rd
Women's EHF European League Norway Storhamar HE (2023–24) 1st
Women's EHF European Cup Turkey Antalya Konyaaltı (2022–23) 1st

Affiliated Members

Associated federations

EHF European Championships

The European Men's Handball Championship and European Women's Handball Championship are the flagship national team events of the European Handball Federation and rank amongst the leading indoor sports events on the international sports market. First played in 1994, the EHF EUROs have taken place in host nations across the continent on a biennial basis, with the men's event held in January and the women's in December.

The Men's EHF EURO 2012, held in Serbia, attracted a cumulative global TV audience of 1.47 billion, and was transmitted by 75 broadcasters in more than 200 territories. A record 302,688 spectators also followed the event live in five venues across the countries.

The Men's EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark has set a new attendance record with 316,000 spectators.

In 2020, the first Men's EHF EURO with 24 participating teams was held in Sweden, Austria and Norway. This championship broke a variety of records, including the attendance record with 500,000 fans following the matches live in the different venues.[14] It was also the first time that a Men's EHF European Championship was organised by three hosts.

The Women's EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia achieved a cumulative audience of 723 million, which is the highest ever result for the championship. The result marks not only a 90 per cent increase on the 2012 edition (380 million), but also significantly tops the previous record set in 2006 (461 million). In terms of broadcast hours, the results were equally remarkable. With 1,919 broadcast hours, the tournament further confirmed its upward trend through a 65 per cent climb of 758 hours compared to 2012. Overall, the tournament was aired in 145 countries.

Following the extension to 24 teams for the Men's EHF EURO, the Women's EHF EURO will be played for the first time with 24 participants in December 2024.[15] The 2024 championship will be played in Austria, Hungary and Switzerland.

EHF Champions League

The EHF Champions League was launched in the 1993–94 season for both men's and women's teams. The competition has developed considerably over the years, with the introduction of a distinctive blue lagoon and black floor in the 2007–08 season, the creation of an 'EHF Champions League' ball as well as changes to the format of the competition, which saw the introduction of a new 'Last 16' and the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in the 2009–10 season. From the start of the 2011–12 season, the VELUX Group added their name to the men's competition as title sponsor, and the competition became the VELUX EHF Champions League. The 20th jubilee season (2012–13) saw the launch of a brand new corporate identity and logo.[16] The women's competition also introduced the final tournament for the first time in the 2013–14 season and added the quarter-final stage in the following edition.

A new playing system was introduced for the EHF Champions League,[17] for both the men's and the women's competition, with the beginning of the 2020/21 season. In both events, 16 teams are registered, divided into two groups of eight in the group phase. The first six teams of each group qualify for the knockout rounds, the last four eventually qualify for the EHF FINAL4 events which are played in Cologne (men) and Budapest (women).

For the men's competition, a new title sponsor was presented with the beginning of the 2022/23 season. The EHF Champions League was subsequently renamed to Machineseeker EHF Champions League.[18]

EHF European Cup competitions

Over 250 clubs take part in the EHF European Cup competitions, which include EHF European League and EHF European Cup. The 2012–13 season saw a change to the men's European Cup competitions with the amalgamation of the EHF Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup to become simply the 'EHF Cup'. The change was introduced in order to create a three-tier competition system with the VELUX EHF Champions League at the top, followed by the EHF Cup and then the Challenge Cup.[13] The same merging is planned for the 2016–17 season in the women's competitions. The EHF administers over 730 European club matches each year, which take place in all corners of the continent.

Beach handball

Beach handball originated on the beaches of Italy in the 1990s and has established itself as a sport in its own right within the EHF with the organisation of the European Beach Tour and European Championships for men, women and younger age categories. The first European Beach Handball Championships were held in 2000 in Gaeta (Italy) and the most recent was held in Lloret de Mar (Spain) in the summer of 2015. Beach handball is a World Games sport, making its debut in 2009. It will also have its premiere at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.


The EHF has a number of projects and initiatives through which it supports the development of the sport generally and also in its member federations. These include:

Dress code rules

On 19 July 2021, at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 tournament, the EHF Disciplinary Commission imposed a fine of 150 per player, for a total fine of 1,500 for wearing shorts instead of wearing bikini bottoms. This has led to claims of sexism within the organization from several people, including Norwegian Member of Parliament Lene Westgaard-Halle.[19][20][21] The EHF released a statement saying that "The EHF is committed to bring this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level".[22]

In October 2021, the International Handball Federation announced an update to its clothing regulations, with the new regulations for women’s uniforms allowing female players the wearing of shorts.[23]


  1. ^ "EHF Office celebrates 20 years in Vienna". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Kosovo becomes a full member of the European Handball Federation". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "EHF Court of Handball rejects Russia appeal against ban". 25 March 2022.
  4. ^ "European Handball Federation suspends Russia and Belarus". handball-world.
  5. ^ a b c >"Russia and Belarus suspended by EHF". Handball Planet. 1 March 2022.
  6. ^ "European Handball Federation – 2021".
  7. ^ "Handball Europena Championships Archive".
  8. ^ "Women Handball European Challenge Championships Archive".
  9. ^ "Men Handball European Challenge Championships Archive".
  10. ^ "European Handball Federation – Home of Handball | EHF".
  11. ^ "Beach Handball – Women's U-17 European Championships 2021 – Summary of the current competition".
  12. ^ "Beach Handball – Men's U-17 European Championships 2021 – Summary of the current competition".
  13. ^ a b "New Men's EHF Cup starting".
  14. ^ "Records tumble as EHF EURO 2020 watched by millions worldwide". 30 January 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Women's EHF EURO expands to 24 teams from 2024". Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  16. ^ "New look for a new season". European Handball Federation. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  17. ^ "New season, new system: the roadmap to Cologne in 2020/21". Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  18. ^ "Machineseeker becomes title sponsor of EHF Champions League Men". Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  19. ^ "European Beach Handball Championships: Norway hit with 1,500 euros bi…". BBC. 20 July 2021. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  20. ^ Lene Westgaard-Halle [@LeneWestgaard] (14 July 2021). "Dear @ihf_info" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ "Norway's beach handball team fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment. 21 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Norway's beach handball team fined for refusing to wear bikini bottom…". CBS News. 21 July 2021. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Beach Handball uniform regulations set to change". Retrieved 13 October 2023.