Hospitality, heart and the unfulfilled hope of the trophy

FEATURE: President of the Croatian Handball Federation Tomislav Grahovac is proud of and satisfied with the success of the EHF EURO 2018

President of the Croatian Handball Federation Tomislav Grahovac praised all who contributed to the successful EHF EURO 2018. Photo: Stanko Gruden

“It was a very good event, and I am sure that everybody in Croatia enjoyed the EHF EURO.” Though his team did not make it to the semi-finals, President of the Croatian Handball Federation Tomislav Grahovac is very satisfied with the EHF EURO 2018. After hosting the final tournament in 2000, Croatia was the first nation to organise a Men’s EHF EURO for the second time.

“I am sure we provided a high level of organisation and could show the famous Croatian hospitality to all our guests – teams, officials and fans,” said Grahovac. “For us, this championship was a success. For more than two weeks, everybody in Croatia talked about handball – this is great for our sport.

“The Croatian handball family is very proud. So many people were in the arenas, so many people celebrated handball parties – not only from Croatia, but from all over Europe.”

From the sporting point of view, Grahovac was surprised by the equal level of all teams and the balanced situation in European men’s handball: “Every team could beat any opponent, so we saw many thrilling matches and some surprises.”

Of course, as a President he had hoped for more for his team: “Our national team is a true sport brand in Croatia. We had all expected more than the fifth position, which we finally took, as it was our main goal to become European champions for the first time – and on home ground. But little things decided that we did not make it to the semi-finals.”

In contrast to the final ranking, Grahovac commends his federation and all involved in this EHF EURO for a great job: “Everybody gave their best in all four venues. All proved that Croatia is a great organiser for great events.

“The people in Porec, Split, Varazdin and Zagreb gave their hearts to make the EURO a memorable promotion for handball. And of course, we hope to be awarded by the EHF to host more tournaments in future.”

written by Björn Pazen / cg