27 teams hit the sand for season-ending Champions Cup
27 of Europe's top club teams in beach handball return to the sand in Sicily this week to contest the first EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup in two years.
The Covid-19 outbreak saw the 2020 edition was cancelled, so this year will see the tournament’s seventh edition feature the national champions from around Europe and mark the close of the European beach handball season for 2021.
In total 15 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will be going for glory at Isola delle Femmine, a town near Palermo, between 7-10 October.
With reigning champions BM Playa Sevilla not present at the event, 2016 champions CBMP Ciudad de Malaga will be hoping to take up the mantle as Spain’s sole representatives, beginning their campaign in group A alongside the likes of Italy’s Blue team.
Portugal is well represented in the competition with three clubs competing. Among the top contenders appear to be the bolstered V. Gaw, who will take on another Portuguese-influenced team in Great Britain’s London Beach Handball in group B.
Another local side, ASD Grosseto Handball will be up against stiff competition in group C, including Fervas BHC (HUN), BHC Sand Devils (GER) and Poland’s BHT Petra Plock.
The top two teams in each group plus the best two third-placed finishers will progress to Saturday’s quarter-finals.
There will be a rematch of the 2019 final as winners GEA AM Team Almeria return to defend their title from two years ago, taking on beaten finalists Blue Team (Italy) in group A as well as Hadsten Beach Handball (Denmark), GRD Leça - LOVE TILES (Portgual), Strandepitok Girls BTH (Hungary) and CAIPIranhas (Germany).
Two-time winners LV Sport – Multichem Szentendrei NKE (Hungary) will be favourites in group B, which also features Handball Erice SSD (Italy), Minga Turtles (Germany), London GD (Great Britain), Beach Unicorns (Germany) and E.F.E. Os Tigres (Portgual).
The top four teams in each group progress to Saturday’s quarter-finals.
How to follow the action
There will be extensive coverage of the competition on eurohandball and the Home of Handball social media channels with daily reviews, photographs and video content such as the top 5 plays of each day and highlights of the men's and women's finals.
Matches from court 1 will be streamed live on the Home of Handball Twitch account throughout the championship, court 2 games will be on the Italian federation's YouTube channel, while matches on court 3 will be recorded and available on demand.
Sunday’s medal matches will be accompanied by a live show on Twitch with EHFTV commentator Chris O’Reilly and Beach EURO 2019 gold medallist Ditte Vind guiding you through the afternoon’s decisive matches.