Statement from USA Team Handball

Jan. 08, 2009, 12 a.m. (ET)

USA Team Handball has asked the International Handball Federation to intervene in a dispute involving France's professional league (LNH) and one of its promotional partners, a group that calls itself American Team Handball Federation (ATHF).

LNH intends to play its LNH Cup Semifinals and Finals in the United States in April. However, the promoter of the event, now known as ATHF, has failed to request sanctioning of the event from USA Team Handball and, in fact, has announced that it has the power to sanction IHF-approved competitions in the United States.

In order for the event to go forward, USA Team Handball has requested that LNH and its promoters formally announce the dissolution of ATHF, and request sanctioning of the LNH Cup event from USA Team Handball. Failure to do so will be considered a serious breach of international protocol and lead to further consequences.

At the IHF's suggestion, USA Team Handball, IHF leadership, the French Handball Federation and LNH are scheduled to meet in Zagreb, Croatia later this month to attempt to resolve this dispute.