By Duncan Mackay

Hassan Moustafa_looking_fed-upNovember 26 - Racism and jealously is behind the bribery and corruption allegations levelled at Hassan Moustafa (pictured), the head of the International Handball Federation (IHF), he has claimed. 

The Egyptian, who has been President of the IHF since 2000, is facing the allegations in a scandal over television contracts.

The Swiss authorities searched the sport's head offices in Switzerland and Mostafa's home earlier this month.

"I'm the only Arab who heads an international federation in all sports and that annoys many Europeans who particularly consider handball a European sport," Moustafa said in an interview published in Al-Ahram.

"Searching my house came following my approval, and I also wanted that...the searching led to nothing."

Prosecutors in Hamburg have confirmed they suspect Moustafa improperly received €602,000 (£515,000/$830,000) in consulting fees in 2007 after the television rights for the period 2006 until were sold to Sportfive, who are owned by French media giant Lagardère.

"A French company [Lagardère] was awarded the TV rights for four years starting in 2005," Moustafa told Al-Ahram.

"The problem started when we changed the bidding system in the international federation.

"The new system saw the offers presented in sealed envelopes before being unveiled by the general secretary in front of all the [IHF] Executive Committee members to guarantee complete transparency.

"Consequently, we had a bid from a German company [sports marketing firm UFA] which was CH9 million higher, from 2010 to 2013.

"The French company did not like that, and did not accept defeat.

"It was also enraged after I demanded that they pay the last instalment of its deal and a penalty for late payment.

"That's why it did all that in retaliation."

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