International Handball Federation

International Handball Federation (IHF)
Logo of International Handball Federation
Predecessor International Amateur Handball Federation (1926 — 1945)
Formation 11 July 1946 (1946-07-11)
Founded at Copenhagen, Denmark
Type International Sports Federation
Headquarters Basel, Switzerland
Region served
201 Full Members
4 Associated Members
4 Regional members
Official language
English, French and German
Dr. Hassan Moustafa
Honorary President
Mr. Erwin Lanc
1st Vice-President
Mr. Joël Delplanque
Mr. Bader Mohammed Al-Theyab
Mr. Michael Wiederer
Dr. Mansourou A. Aremou
Main organ
IHF Congress, IHF Council
Affiliations International Olympic Committee,
Association of Summer Olympic International Federations

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.

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 July 11, 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 governance

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 associations

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 Presidents

S. No.NameCountryTerm
1.Mr. Gösta Björk Sweden11 July 1946 – 9 September 1950
2.Mr. Hans Baumann*  Switzerland9 September 1950 – 9 February 1971
Mr. Paul Högberg (Interim President) Sweden9 February 1971 – 23 August 1972
3.Mr. Paul Högberg Sweden23 August 1972 – 25 July 1984
4.Mr. Erwin Lanc Austria25 July 1984 – 26 November 2000
5.Dr. Hassan Moustafa Egypt26 November 2000 – Till Date

IHF Secretary Generals

S. No.NameCountryTerm
1.Mr. Carl Filip Borgh Sweden11 July 1946 – 9 September 1950
2.Mr. Albert Wagner  Switzerland9 September 1950 – 23 August 1972
3.Mr. Max Rinkenburger West Germany23 August 1972 – 14 September 1988
4.Mr. Raymond Hahn France14 September 1988 – 2 December 2004
5.Mr. Peter Mühlematter  Switzerland2 December 2004 – 4 June 2009
6.Mr. Joel Delplanque France4 June 2009 – 2 May 2011
Post abolished on 2 May 2011. Since then the position is managed by a salaried Managing Director.
1.Ms. Amal Khalifa Egypt2 May 2011 – Till date

IHF Treasurers

S. No.NameCountryTerm
1.Mr. Wolf Lyberg Sweden11 July 1946 – 9 September 1950
2.Mr. Jan Krijgsman Netherlands9 September 1950 – 27 September 1954
3.Mr. Max Rinkenburger West Germany27 September 1954 – 23 August 1972
4.Mr. Anders Fredslund Pedersen Denmark23 August 1972 – 25 July 1984
5.Mr. Raymond Hahn France25 July 1984 – 14 September 1988
6.Mr. Rudi Glock West Germany/ Germany14 September 1988 – 26 November 2000
7.Mr. Miguel Roca Mas Spain26 November 2000 – 4 June 2009
8.Mr. Sandi Sola ● Croatia4 June 2009 – 19 December 2015
ActingMr. Miguel Roca Mas Spain19 December 2015 – 11 November 2017
9.Ms. Anna Rapp Sweden11 November 2017 – Till date

● Sandi Sola resigned during the IHF Council meeting held in Herning (Denmark) on 19 December 2015. IHF 1st Vice-President Mr. Miguel Roca Mas held the charge until the next IHF Congress in 2017.

IHF Executive Committee

PresidentDr. Hassan Moustafa Egypt
1st Vice-PresidentMr. Joël Delplanque France
TreasurerMs. Anna Rapp Sweden
Executive MembersMs. Narcisa Lecușanu Romania
Prof. Dr. František Táborský Czech Republic
Managing DirectorMs. Amal Khalifa Egypt

IHF Council

The IHF Council is the IHF's main decision-making body between meetings of the IHF Congress.

IHF Council 2017 – 2021

PresidentDr. Hassan Moustafa Egypt
1st Vice-PresidentMr. Joël Delplanque France
Vice-PresidentsMr. Bader Mohammed Al-Theyab Kuwait
Mr. Michael Wiederer Austria
Dr. Mansourou Aremou Benin
TreasurerMs. Anna Rapp Sweden
Executive MembersMs. Narcisa Lecușanu Romania
Prof. Dr. František Táborský Czech Republic
Chairperson of IHF Commission of Organizing and CompetitionsMr. Per Bertelsen Denmark
Chairperson of IHF Playing Rules and Referees CommissionMr. Ramón Gallego Spain
Chairperson of IHF Commission of Coaching and MethodsMr. Dietrich Späte Germany
Chairperson of IHF Medical CommissionDr. François Gnamian Ivory Coast
Chairperson of IHF Commission for DevelopmentMs. Raquel Pedercini Marinho Canada
Representative AsiaMr. Yoshihide Watanabe Japan
Representative AfricaMr. Charles Omboumahou Republic of the Congo
Representative EuropeMr. Predrag Bošković Montenegro
Representative OceaniaMr. Ricardo Blas Guam
Managing DirectorMs. Amal Khalifa Egypt

IHF Commissions

IHF Commission of Organising and CompetitionsMr. Per Bertelsen Denmark
IHF Playing Rules and Referees CommissionMr. Ramón Gallego Spain
IHF Commission of Coaching and MethodsMr. Dietrich Späte Germany
IHF Medical CommissionDr. François Gnamian Ivory Coast
IHF Commission for DevelopmentMs. Raquel Pedercini Marinho Canada
IHF Athletes' CommissionMs. Gro Hammerseng-Edin Norway
IHF Arbitration CommissionMr. Tomislav Grahovac Croatia
IHF Arbitration TribunalMr. Zoran Radojičić Montenegro
IHF Ethics CommissionMr. Hussein Moustafa Fathy Egypt

IHF Tournaments

World Handball Championship
World Beach Handball Championship
World Club Handball Championship
Multi-Sport Events

Title holders

International title holders

Competition Men's Champion Women's Champion
World Cup  France (2017) (6*)  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 (2016) (2*)
Handball Youth Olympic Tournament  Slovenia (2014) (1)  South Korea (2014) (1)
IHF Inter-Continental Trophy  Faroe Islands (2015) (1)  Guadeloupe (2015) (1)
Club World Cup FC Barcelona (2017) (3*)
Beach Handball World Cup  Croatia (2016) (2)  Spain (2016) (1)
Youth Beach Handball World Cup  Spain (2017) (1*)  Hungary (2017) (1*)

Continental title holders

Africa Asia Europe Oceania Pan-America
Senior Men's  Tunisia (2018) (10*)  Qatar (2018) (3)  Spain (2018) (1)  Australia (2014) (8*)  Brazil (2016) (3)
Senior Women's  Angola (2016) (12*)  South Korea (2017) (13*)  Norway (2016) (7*)  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  Tunisia (2016) (4)  Qatar (2016) (5)  Spain (2016) (2)  Australia (2018) (4)  Brazil (2017) (6)
Junior Women's  Angola (2017) (9*)  South Korea (2017) (14*)  France (2017) (1)  New Zealand (2014) (1)  Brazil (2016) (8*)
Youth Boys  Tunisia (2016) (1)  Bahrain (2016) (1)  France (2016) (2)  New Zealand (2018) (2)  Argentina (2017) (8*)
Youth Girls  Egypt (2017) (2)  South Korea (2017) (7*)  Germany (2017) (1)  Brazil (2016) (11*)
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 (2017) (10) Al-Najma Club (2017) (1) RK Vardar (2017) (1) Sydney University Handball Club (2018) (7*) EC Pinheiros (2017) (2)
Women's Club CD Primeiro de Agosto (2017) (4) AGMK Club (2017) (1) Győri Audi ETO KC (2017) (3) Melbourne HC (2018) (1) EC Pinheiros (2017) (1)
Men's Beach Handball  Qatar (2017) (4*)  Spain (2017) (3)  Australia (2018) (3*)  Brazil (2018) (7*)
Women's Beach Handball  Thailand (2017) (3*)  Norway (2017) (1)  Australia (2018) (3*)  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 table

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.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Soviet Union 207431
2 Russia189229
3 Denmark16151142
4 France137727
5 Sweden9101029
6 Yugoslavia 981229
7 Germany87924
8 Romania831021
9 Norway610925
10 South Korea510924
11 East Germany 45514
12 Croatia45312
13 Spain37616
14 Hungary210820
15 Czechoslovakia 24410
16 Egypt2114
17 Serbia1203
18 Slovenia1135
19 Brazil1012
20 Iceland0224
21 Austria0213
22 Poland0156
23 Netherlands0134
24 Montenegro0112
26 Ukraine0101
29  Switzerland0011
  • data is accurate as of 20 August 2018

IHF Member Federations

Category A

  • 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 B

Category C

Associated Members

Regional Members

IHF Awards

The IHF issues awards to organisations and individuals in recognition of their particular contribution to developing the sport of handball and the IHF.

These awards are:



  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.
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