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The President of the Handball Federation of Russia (HFR) of Russia Sergey Shishkarev decided to stand for elections of the President of the HFR. He announced this decision during a meeting with men’s national handball team at a training prior to the match with Montenegro of the Euro-2018 qualification.

The report and election Conference of the HFR will be held on 26 December 2016 in Moscow. The captain Timur Dibirov was a spokesman for the national team in the conversation. Afterwards, Sergey Shishkarev said a few words.

– The words of the captain of the national team are extremely important for me, because everything that our teams think is of great significance to me, – said the HFR President. – I represent the HFR at the international field whereas the players come onto the playing field and defend the state’s honor. It is obvious for me that the next year should become a year of men’s handball. Our men’s national team, as well as the women’s team is very strong, you should treat yourselves as the elite of the European and the international handball. We intent to take into account all opinions, all points of view of our opponents, we’re prepared for the dialog and cooperation – with all professionals, whose experience and knowledge may be of use to the national handball.

“Sport-Express” got in touch with the candidate and asked him a few questions.

When did you make this decision?

I thought about it all the time. Sometimes these thoughts were troublesome due to the inner battle of motivations. On the one hand, I want to continue the work that I started, on the other hand – I understand that there are a lot of complications. Regardless our Olympic success in Brazil, there is a lot of problems that take up more than half of my time and life. Anyhow, I decided to stand for elections. It is possibly an emotional decision but it is based on positive emotions. After the game with Montenegro we talked to the players of our men’s national team – honest men’s conversation. After looking at their faces – though I prefer to look people in the eye – and said what I thought. The guys asked me: Are you with us? I said: yes. I guess, the other answer would be a sort of betrayal at that time. So, I am ready to move forward together with everyone as one united team. Moreover, our work starts to show results, and the government notices it.

Is the state’s reaction sufficient for you?

Quite so. We are not the elite of the Russian sport yet but we are close. We have state support on federal and regional levels. The situation improves in Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don, Astrakhan, Tolyatti. Situation in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Moscow region is getting better. We intend to create a team in Tatarstan. And the most important thing is that we have the support of our President. Mr. Putin knows very well what is handball and we are inspired by his encouragement.

You said that the year 2017 should be the year of men’s handball. Is this feasible?

Surely! Our national team is comprised of talented professionals. They have a great  experience. We can perform at high level – to be in the top-3 at the future world championship. The players share these ambitions. Now all we need is to achieve them. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

You also mentioned that you will take into account the views of opponents. What opponents did you mean?

Even in the HFR there are a lot of experienced people who have their own point of view on each move. Most of them are from the older generation. Probably, they are living by the history of the past success. Unfortunately, they do not always see the current state of affairs and business. However, they have good ideas that deserve special attention. I call them to dialog.