Procedures and criteria for the Last 16
The European Handball Federation has issued an overview on what happens if matches cannot be played in the upcoming Last 16 of the EHF European League Men due to reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is the procedure if a first-leg match is not played on Tuesday, 23 March?
If a team reports positive cases of Covid-19 and the match cannot be played, this pairing will be decided by playing both matches (1st and 2nd leg) as a so called ‘double game’ before Tuesday, 30 March, the date when the second-leg matches are scheduled.
Matches can be played on two consecutive days unless both teams agree to have a rest day in between.
Following the principle of causation, the home right for both matches will go to the team which did not have the positive Covid-19 cases.
What is the procedure if a second-leg match is not played on Tuesday, 30 March?
It is not an option to postpone a match to a date after Tuesday, 30 March 2021.
As a consequence of this and following the principle that the party responsible is liable for, in this case, the fact that the match cannot be played, a team which is not in the position to play its scheduled game on the second weekend will be excluded from the competition regardless of the result in the first-leg game. The opponents would subsequently qualify for the quarter-finals.
It is important to underline that this follows the procedure that was in place in such cases already earlier this season, and it is therefore not a newly introduced procedure.
The same procedure will be valid in case a match cannot be played because of sudden and new governmental restrictions which make it impossible to play the game.
The EHF knows that these are very tough procedures, but there is no other option in a knockout round where postponing matches is not possible anymore.
It goes without saying that the EHF hopes that all matches can be played according to schedule, and that all decisions will be taken on court.
Additional issues that prevent a match from being played, such as severe weather conditions, travelling problems or others will be handled according to the regulations.