European Handball Federation
ARENDAL, 9. oktober 2018
Incident report regarding the incidents that occurred during the challenge cup match between Selka Eskisehur Hentbol SK and ØIF Arendal.
With the following statement, ØIF Arendal would like to report certain incidents that occurred prior to the match mentioned above. These incidents are of a character that influenced our abilities to prepare and perform for the game.
During practice the day before the match (the only handball training in turkey), ØIF Arendal were shown to use locker room A. This was also the locker room of our choice when we got to the arena on night of the match. We were about to get settled in, when we were ordered into locker room B.
As the players entered Locker room B, we notice that the windows were wide open for the public to climb in, and therefore the windows were shut and locked. The door to the locker room was locked with a key when we left the locker room B to start warm ups.
Post warm up, and roughly 15 minutes before the match starts, our players and officials leave the pitch to enter the locker room for the final preparations. In the hall way, on our way to the locker room a significant smell is noticed, and as we closed up on the locker room door, players and officials start to get nauseous and wretch/gag. The door is immediately unlocked to find out what is happening, and we quickly have to evacuate the room for personal belongings, equipment, and match kit. This is then moved back to locker room A.
Our Chiropractor and one of our players went back to locker room B to clear out the remaining equipment and to find out the origin of the smell. To their surprise, there was an open hole in the wall with a busted pipe coming out under the sink in shower area. From this pipe a mixture of faeces and urine was pouring out on the floor.
We have registered through media that the organisers claim that the reason for the problem was due to public restrooms above locker room B. However, this is not consistent with what our chiropractor or player saw physically. It was indeed an open pipe coming out of the wall.
Our officials contacted both referees and delegation, who seemed indifferent and careless to our situation. From our perspective they seemed annoyed that we had contacted them at all, and were more interested in us “being polite” and “show respect”, rather than investigating what had actually happened. Instead of asking if there is anything that could be done – post pone the match half an hour for us to reorganize, or post pone it in general, we were met with lack of empathy, understanding and interest from the delegation. Our experience was that they behaved arrogantly and presumptuous.
In conjunction with the warm up for the game our players registered that the ball, without any significant reason, was all slippery in their hands. As one of the players went over to the goal to pick up the ball he touched one of the posts, and to his surprise it felt slippery and were oiled up with some kind of oily liquid. This was reported to our officials, who also went to check. The oily sensation was also noticed by our officials, who immediately contacted the referees and delegation. This happened roughly 40minutes prior to match start.
The only reaction by the EHF officials was laughter and head shakes, even though they went to check the goals.
When you look through the video of the match, there is a significant amount of stops during the play to clean the ball. This is a direct result of the oily liquid that was noticed on the posts on the goal. This reduced our opportunities for quick and efficient play, which off course benefits our opponents significantly.
It is clear to ØIF Arendal that we have been exposed to significant sabotage, and as a result had a great influence on the result of the game. It is ØIF Arendals experience that the EHF officials did not take the incidents in a serious matter, who should safeguard the away teams concerns in accordance to the rules and regulations of the EHF.
We do not know the background of the sabotage, but we sincerely hope that the EHF will look into the case, hoping to find out the reason for this lack of leadership from the organisations own representatives.
This is not fair play ..
From ØIF Arendal Elite
Bjørn-Gunnar Bruun Hansen