When the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 concludes with the final on Sunday, 26 matches in three Hungarian cities will have been played.
Ivan Vetesi, the president of the Hungarian Handball Federation, draws a very positive conclusion for the co-hosts as the tournament comes to an end on Sunday.
ehf-euro.com: Nearly two weeks of European top handball are behind us. What was your impression of the EHF EURO in Hungary from the organising committee's point of view?
Ivan Vetesi: We were prepared and did a good job. One of our major advantages was that the new arena in Györ was opened with an event like the EHF EURO. This is not only an arena, but a new cathedral for women’s handball.
This arena played a major part in the successful organisation.
ehf-euro.com: Besides Györ matches in Hungary were also played in Debrecen and Budapest . Are you also satisfied with these two venues?
Ivan Vetesi: First of all, I'm totally satisfied with the cooperation with the three cities and also the hosting cities in Croatia. All three Hungarian cities have great experience in organising sport events and all three have good handball teams in their cities.
And hence it was very easy for us to find 500 volunteers there who mainly were young handball players. We offered them more than just sports. They could breath the atmosphere at a big event and had a great time.
ehf-euro.com: Is there anything you would like to change, if you had the chance to turn back the time?
Ivan Vetesi: We made a small mistake in terms of ticket prices, maybe they were too expensive, as we had Western European prices in an east European country.
But the great Hungarian handball fans helped us to fill the arenas. It is good to have millions watching the event on TV, but the atmosphere has to come from the arenas. And I appreciated the atmosphere in Györ, Debrecen and Budapest.
ehf-euro.com: In May next year the Papp Laszlo Sportarena in Budapest will host the next huge handball event, the second edition of the Women’s EHF FINAL4. Could you learn something for this event from the EHF EURO?
Ivan Vetesi: Indeed, using a large mobile on one short side court has been great. They are a great option to have up to 12,000 handball fans to make it a really big arena.
ehf-euro.com: Hungary's women's national team missed the semi-finals and eventually finished the sixth. Are you disappointed about the result?
Ivan Vetesi: We have seen that the EHF EURO was a great and close competition. At previous events you could predict that Norway at least makes it to the semi-final, two years ago the final between Norway vs. Montenegro could be foreseen.
This year up to seven, eight teams were capable of making it to the semi-finals. This is really good for handball, if the number of favourites increases. And nobody for example expected Spain to be in the final or Sweden in the semi-final.
And Hungary were among those top teams. At previous events we lost at least one match by ten goals, this time the biggest margin was only three goals.
After ten years we beat Norway for the first time, after we they had beaten us two years ago in the EHF EURO 2012 Semi-final by ten goals. So placing sixth has been a realistic final ranking. We can say our motto from the heart: "Handball, I love you!"
ehf-euro.com: So your general conclusion is a very positive one?
Ivan Vetesi: Definitely. We had a great atmosphere in the arenas, we turned handball matches into a show event and we think there will be some money left from the EHF EURO which we will directly invest into our youth programme to develop talents and to find the next (Anita) Görbicz or (Katalin) Palinger.