Familiar rivalries to reignite at EHF EURO 2022
The 24 teams that will vie for the EHF EURO 2022 title learned who they will face in the first stage of the event when the draw took place on Thursday. The draw was held in Budapest, where the next Men’s EHF EURO champions will be crowned after the final on 30 January next year.
Plenty of top-class matches can be expected in the opening stage of the EHF EURO, with defending champions Spain set to take on World Championship 2021 and EHF EURO 2018 silver medallists Sweden as a highlight match in group E.
EHF EURO 2020 runners-up Croatia were drawn into group C, where they will meet familiar rivals France and Serbia, along with Ukraine. Bronze medallists from the 2020 edition, Norway, will meet Russia, Slovakia and Lithuania in group F.
Group A not only features several regional derbies, but sees almost an exact repeat of what was a thrilling preliminary round at the EHF EURO 2018, with EHF EURO 2020 semi-finalists Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro all drawn into that group. Rounding out the group are none other than back-to-back world champions Denmark.
The draw was conducted by four players — Spain’s Rodrigo Corrales, Hungary’s Bence Banhidi, Croatia Luka Stepancic and Slovakia’s Marian Zernovic — alongside EHF President Michael Wiederer and EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner.
From the preliminary round groups, the top two squads in each will progress to the main round. The six playing groups for the preliminary round at the final tournament are as follows:
Each of the host countries will be home to three preliminary round groups. In Hungary, group A will play in Debrecen, group B will be in Budapest and group C will be in Szeged. In Slovakia, group D and E will be based in Bratislava, and group F will play in Kosice.
The two main round groups will be hosted in Bratislava and Budapest, before the top six teams converge in Budapest for the final weekend that will determine the winners through to sixth position on the ranking.
New ball presented
For the 6th consecutive EHF EURO event since the Women’s EHF EURO 2016, the final tournament’s match ball is presented by the EHF’s premium partner, Danish ball manufacturer SELECT Sport.
The 'Ultimate iBall' saw the light of day at Thursday’s draw event and will eventually star in all 65 matches.