3 things we learned this week: “Rule change, amazing Euros & Oftedal”

A rule change is needed, amazing Euros & Stine Bredal Oftedal may retire – that is 3 things we learned this week.

Rule change needed

Photo: Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN

Sweden lost against France in the semi-final and we can (almost) all agree that not everything about that game was clean and right. Sweden filed an official protest but the EHF rejected the protest, saying that ”it’s up to the referees to decide if a situation demands en extra look”. Clearly Nikolov and Nachevski did not think that Elohim Prandis last second goal needed an extra look.

The Swedish handball federation have shifted focus to get a rule change in the future. A great ambition in my opinion. But it will take a lot of lobbyism to get a real change to come trough. Yes, rule changes happen in the handball world all the time, but then it’s often one of the big shots in the IHF or EHF that wants a change, not a national federation.

Amazing Euros

240128 Players of France celebrate after the EHF European Handball Championship final between Denmark and France on January 28, 2024 in Cologne. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN

Rule change – yes, please. But still, this was an amazing tournament that was playing in front of record attendance. And what else can you wish for? Well, better refereeing and a better rule book.

But let’s focus on the positive parts: this was a tournament with a few upsets. Austria almost made it to the semi-finals, and Spain got knocked out in the preliminary round. We got to see young players burst onto the stage and veterans still bringing it. And we got to see a great final with a worthy winner. Now we can all long for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Oftedal may retire

Stine Oftedal. Photo: Petter Arvidson / BILDBYRÅN

Will the 2024 Olympics in Paris be the last we see of Stine Bredal Oftedal, one of the best players do ever do it? It sure looks like it. In an interview with Györ the Norwegian playmaker stated that she will leave the Hungarian powerhouse after the season and that she does not intend to sign elsewhere. 

She also stated that she may well retire after the Olympics. And since that is the only big competition that Oftedal has not won yet, that would truly be a fairytale ending to an illustrious career to get the final gold for the trophy cabinet.