The thrill of the FINAL4 only increasesArticle
«Go back

NEWS FEATURE: EHF President Jean Brihault and EHF Secretary General Michael Wiederer conclude the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's News

The thrill of the FINAL4 only increases

Jean Brihault presented an EHF Champions League trophy for the last time in his position as EHF President on Sunday at Cologne. But the Frenchmen, who has been in charge since 2012, did not do so with sadness:

“Sport teaches us to develop and to start new chapters of your life. So I will hand over the trophy as usual, without having in mind that it is the last time at a big event. I am grateful, not depressed,” Brihault said during the closing media call of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 on Sunday, prior to the final matches.

Brihault’s successor will be elected by the EHF Congress in November 2016.

Though he has been part of all seven VELUX EHF FINAL4 events since the inauguration in 2010, Brihault says the excitement only increases each time.

“The thrill got bigger and bigger. For me personally, the best thing at this event is to be among the handball family.

“The fan groups do not need to be separated by police or security – they celebrate a big party together, so everybody contributes to this event.”

From the sporting point of view, Brihault was a little surprised by the outcome of the semi-final matches on Saturday.

“Kiel were a little naïve in the final minutes, and Kielce were tough opponents for Paris. But THW and PSG will learn for the future from those defeats,” he said.

EHF Secretary General Michael Wiederer shares Brihault’s general impressions of the event:

“Every time I land in Cologne prior to the start of the tournament, the tension is still rising. There is no VELUX EHF FINAL4 routine, but annual challenges. But it makes things easier when you have the same partners every year, so you have mutual control of the event.”

Wiederer spoke with number of stakeholders including teams, fans and media, and received only positive feedback from all sides.

“We can expect another top event in 2017 – when you just look upon the number of tickets sold for next year in only one and a half days now, we can be sure that the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2017 will be sold out.”

Wiederer received positive feedback from clubs not only with regard to the FINAL4, but about the new playing system in general.

“Many more games were on an equal level, and as the system is quite flexible we can adapt the number of participating teams if needed. But for the upcoming season the system will remain completely the same, then we do an evaluation.

“In the end, the four teams which made it to Cologne were the best, but the improvement of the equality shows that at least four more teams could have made it here.”

TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg