The European Team Sport Federations have met at the headquarters of the European Handball Federation (EHF) in Vienna to discuss common issues in the overall structure of team sports, legal principles in sport, and further steps of co-operation between the team sport federations of Europe.
The meeting was attended by senior representatives from the governing bodies of basketball (FIBA Europe), football (UEFA), handball (EHF), ice hockey (IIHF), rugby (FIRA-AER) and volleyball (CEV).
EU and sport matters
The core items on the docket included the European Union and sport matters. Sport and its role in Europe has been highlighted as a key topic for the French Presidency of the EU, commencing on 1 July. So while the EU's White Paper on Sport was acknowledged by the team sport federations as a step to recognise the status of sport and the issues faced by sport within a legal context, it was also widely accepted that these concerns now need to be firmly addressed.
Training and education for youngsters
Concrete proposals are being elaborated on, concentrating in particular on training and education for the younger age categories and on the values of sport for youth. The agenda of the French Presidency, in view of the focus on sport, was also examined by the delegates as was the UEFA home-grown players rule. This pioneering approach to securing the promotion of young player training is a matter affecting each and every team sport. The rule and its compatibility with EU law are of key interest to all who attended and were discussed in detail.
The future structure for co-operation between the team sport federations was also touched upon. Over the course of the last decade, the major team sport federations in Europe have met on regular occasions to talk about matters of common interest and mutual understanding. While each and every sport has a unique structure, all are based on the European sports model. The federations used this opportunity to look at closer co-operation and working structures for inter-related sport-political and technical matters.
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