The Women's EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia has come to an end, and ehf-euro.com took the opportunity to ask Jean Brihault, President of the European Handball Federation, about his impressions of the 11th Women´s EHF EURO event.
ehf-euro.com: What has been your impression of the EHF EURO 2014?
Jean Brihault: I think we have had good quality matches. We had many close games, which happens often in men's handball, but usually not so much in women's handball.
But the games here were extremely close, and this is an important point for the tournament's long-term perspective.
We didn't have so many spectators in the halls as a consequence of the performance of Hungary and Croatia, but very high TV audiences made up for this.
ehf-euro.com: You mentioned the close games. Do you think that means that the Women's EHF EURO in general will also become more competitive?
Jean Brihault: I think it was interesting to see that virtually any team could beat any team. I think it is becoming closer and closer which means that teams who are not usually among in top tier, can be a danger for the best.
ehf-euro.com: Arranging a championship in two countries always presents some challenges. How do think those have been solved this time?
Jean Brihault: I must say that we were fortunate with the weather. We had great weather which meant that we had no problems regarding transport.
However, the organising federations and the EHF had taken all potential obstacles, including ice and snow, into account and everything just worked well.
ehf-euro.com: Starting in 2020 the Men's EHF EURO will be played with 24 teams. Is that something that will also be implemented for women's events?
Jean Brihault: This is not something we are looking at for the moment being. Our first priority is to maintain the high level in terms of quality.
We realised after very careful studies that we could do that with 24 teams in the men's event. We do not have 24 women´s team in Europe who can compete on that level, though.
What we don't want to introduce, are games for which you can anticipate the result when you enter the arena.