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The International Handball Federation (IHF) is the administrative and controlling body for handball and beach handball. IHF is responsible for the organisation of handball's major international tournaments, notably the IHF World Men's Handball Championship, which commenced in 1938, and the IHF World Women's Handball Championship, which commenced in 1957.

International Handball Federation (IHF)
International Handball Federation logo.svg
Logo of International Handball Federation
PredecessorInternational Amateur Handball Federation (1926–1945)
Formation11 July 1946; 72 years ago (1946-07-11)
Founded atCopenhagen, Denmark
TypeInternational Sports Federation
HeadquartersBasel, Switzerland
Region served
201 Full Members
4 Associated Members
4 Regional members
Official language
English, French and German
Hassan Moustafa
Honorary President
Erwin Lanc
1st Vice-President
Joël Delplanque
Bader Mohammed Al-Theyab
Michael Wiederer
Mansourou A. Aremou
Main organ
IHF Congress, IHF Council
AffiliationsInternational Olympic Committee,
Association of Summer Olympic International Federations

IHF was founded in 1946 to oversee international competitions. Headquartered in Basel, its membership now comprises 209 national federations. Each member country must each also be a member of one of the six regional confederations: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Caribbean, Oceania, and South and Central America. Dr. Hassan Moustafa from Egypt has been President of the IHF since 2000.



The IHF was founded on 11 July 1946, in Copenhagen (Denmark) by representatives of eight national federations. The founding members were Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The first president of IHF was Gösta Björk from Sweden. Björk was replaced in 1950 by Hans Baumann from Switzerland. In 1954, the first IHF Men's World Championship, was conducted under the aegis of the IHF, in Sweden with the participation of six national teams. In 1957, the first IHF World Women's Handball Championship was held in SFR Yugoslavia with the participation of nine national teams. Handball was included in the Olympic Games for the first time under the auspices of IHF in Munich 1972 (men's tournament) and Montreal 1976 (women's tournament).


Laws and governanceEdit

IHF is headquartered in Basel, and is a federation established under the Law of Switzerland. IHF's supreme body is the IHF Congress, an assembly made up of representatives from each affiliated member association. Each national handball association has one vote, regardless of its size or handballing strength. The Congress assembles in ordinary session once in two years (odd years) after the IHF World Men's Handball Championship. The congress makes decisions relating to IHF's governing statutes and their method of implementation and application. Only the Congress can pass changes to IHF's statutes. The congress approves the annual report, and decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections. Congress elects the President of IHF, its General Secretary, and the other members of the IHF Council. IHF's Council, chaired by the President, is the main decision-making body of the organisation in the intervals of Congress. The Council is composed of 18 people: the President, 5 Vice Presidents, and 12 members. The Council is the body that decides which country will host the World Championship. The President and General Secretary are the main officeholders of IHF, and are in charge of its daily administration, carried out by the General Secretariat. Dr. Hassan Moustafa is the current president, appointed in the year 2000 at the 28th Ordinary IHF Congress.

Six confederations and 209 national associationsEdit

The IHF is composed of six continental federations which organize continental championships held every other second year: African Handball Confederation, Asian Handball Federation, European Handball Federation, North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation, Oceania Continent Handball Federation, and South and Central America Handball Confederation. In addition to continental competitions between national teams, the federations arrange international tournaments between club teams.[1]

Until 2017, there were five continental confederations. On 14 January 2018, the IHF Council divided the Pan-American Confederation into the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation and the South and Central America Handball Confederation. The authority to divide a continental confederation was assigned to the IHF Congress, but the 36th IHF Congress in 2017 authorized the IHF Council to divide the Pan-American Federation.[2]

IHF PresidentsEdit

S. No. Name Term
1. Gösta Björk 11 July 1946 – 9 September 1950
2. Hans Baumann* 9 September 1950 – 9 February 1971
Paul Högberg (Interim President) 9 February 1971 – 23 August 1972
3. Paul Högberg 23 August 1972 – 25 July 1984
4. Erwin Lanc 25 July 1984 – 26 November 2000
5. Hassan Moustafa 26 November 2000 – present
  • Hans Baumann died in Office on 9 February 1971 due to illness.

IHF Executive CommitteeEdit

Designation Name
President Hassan Moustafa
1st Vice-President Joël Delplanque
Treasurer Anna Rapp
Executive Members Narcisa Lecușanu
František Táborský
Managing Director Amal Khalifa

IHF CouncilEdit

The IHF Council is the IHF's main decision-making body between meetings of the IHF Congress. It is currently serving a 2017–2021 term.

IHF CommissionsEdit

IHF TournamentsEdit

Title holdersEdit

International title holdersEdit

Competition Men's Champion Women's Champion
World Cup   Denmark (2019) (1)   France (2017) (2)
Handball Olympic Tournament   Denmark (2016) (1)   Russia (2016) (1)
Emerging Nations Championship   Faroe Islands (2017) (2*)
Junior World Cup   Spain (2017) (1)   Hungary (2018) (1)
Youth World Cup   France (2017) (2)   Russia (2018) (3*)
Handball Youth Olympic Tournament   Slovenia (2014) (1)   South Korea (2014) (1)
IHF Inter-Continental Trophy   Malaysia (2017) (1)   Bulgaria (2017) (2)
Club World Cup   FC Barcelona (2018) (4*)
Beach Handball World Cup   Brazil (2018) (5)   Greece (2018) (1)
Youth Beach Handball World Cup   Spain (2017) (1*)   Hungary (2017) (1*)

Continental title holdersEdit

Africa Asia Europe Oceania Pan-America
Senior Men's   Tunisia (2018) (10*)   Qatar (2018) (3)   Spain (2018) (1)   Australia (2014) (8*)   Argentina (2018) (7)
Senior Women's   Angola (2018) (13*)   South Korea (2018) (14*)   France (2018) (1)   Australia (2016) (7*)   Brazil (2017) (10*)
Men's Continental Games   Egypt (2015) (7*)   Qatar (2014) (1)   Brazil (2015) (3)
Women's Continental Games   Angola (2015) (6*)   South Korea (2014) (6*)   Brazil (2015) (5*)
Junior Men's   Egypt (2018) (12*)   South Korea (2018) (3)   Slovenia (2018) (1)   Australia (2018) (4)   Brazil (2017) (6)
Junior Women's   Angola (2017) (9*)   South Korea (2017) (14*)   France (2017) (1)   New Zealand (2014) (1)   Brazil (2018) (9*)
Youth Boys   Egypt (2018) (6*)   Bahrain (2018) (2)   Sweden (2018) (2)   New Zealand (2018) (2)   Argentina (2017) (8*)
Youth Girls   Egypt (2017) (2)   South Korea (2017) (7*)   Germany (2017) (1)   Brazil (2018) (12*)
Boys' Continental Youth Games   Qatar (2013) (1*)   Germany (2017) (1)
Girls' Continental Youth Games   South Korea (2013) (1*)   Hungary (2017) (1)
Men's Club   Al-Zamalek SC (2018) (11)   Al-Najma Club (2017) (1)   Montpellier (2018) (2)   Sydney University HC (2018) (7*)   H. Taubaté (2018) (5*)
Women's Club   1º de Agosto (2018) (5)   Almaty Club (2018) (1)   Győri Audi ETO KC (2018) (4)   Melbourne HC (2018) (1)   EC Pinheiros (2017) (1)
Men's Beach Handball   Qatar (2017) (4*)   Spain (2017) (3)   Australia (2019) (4*)   Brazil (2018) (7*)
Women's Beach Handball   Thailand (2017) (3*)   Norway (2017) (1)   Australia (2019) (4*)   Brazil (2018) (4*)
Men's Youth Beach Handball   Thailand (2016) (1*)   Spain (2017)   Australia (2017) (1*)   Brazil (2017) (1*)
Women's Youth Beach Handball   China (2016) (1*)   Netherlands (2017)   American Samoa (2017) (1*)   Argentina (2017) (1*)
  • * = Record titles

Combined medal tableEdit

This table shows all medals by country, in all International Handball Federation Team Handball national competitions. This table does not include medals won at club level and Beach Handball.

1  Soviet Union207431
2  Russia189229
3  Denmark17151143
4  France137828
5  Sweden9101029
6  Yugoslavia981229
7  Germany87924
8  Romania831021
9  Norway611926
10  South Korea510924
11  East Germany45514
12  Croatia45312
13  Spain37616
14  Hungary210820
15  Czechoslovakia24410
16  Egypt2114
17  Serbia1203
18  Slovenia1135
19  Brazil1012
20  Iceland0224
21  Austria0213
22  Poland0156
23  Netherlands0134
24  Bulgaria0112
26  Lithuania0101
29  China0011
Totals (32 nations)133133132398
  • data is accurate as of 27 January 2019

IHF Member FederationsEdit

Category AEdit

  • IHF had suspended the Kuwait Handball Association since 11 September 2015 due to not organizing an electoral General Assembly to elect the Board of Directors.

Category BEdit

Category CEdit

Associated MembersEdit

Regional MembersEdit

IHF AwardsEdit

IHF PartnersEdit

Type Partner
Official Sports-wear Hummel International
Host Broadcaster Lagardère Sports
Sponsor Grundfos
Official Ball Supplier Molten Corporation
Official Floor Supplier Gerflor


  1. ^ "Bylaws" (PDF). International Handball Federation. September 2007. p. 7. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  2. ^ "IHF statement related to Pan-American continent". IHF. 19 January 2018.

External linksEdit