Lemgo set to face La Rioja in opening round
Former EHF Champions League participants BM Logroño La Rioja and TBV Lemgo Lippe will clash when the EHF European League Men 2022/23 season begins at the end of August with qualification round 1.
The first leg of the qualification round 1 ties in the EHF European League will take place on 27/28 August, followed by the second leg on 3/4 September 2022.
In the 2021/22 season, Logroño La Rioja and TBV Lemgo Lippe both qualified for the group phase of the EHF European League Men after playing in at least one qualification round. However, while Logroño La Rioja began their campaign in qualification round 1, TBV Lemgo Lippe entered the competition in qualification round 2 against Valur Iceland. This time around, however, the Spanish and German clubs will meet in an eye-catching match-up in the opening round of the competition.
All-Norwegian clash between Kolstad and Drammen
While the tie between La Rioja and Lemgo features two clubs with a long history of playing in European club competitions, the Norwegian derby in qualification round 1 between Kolstad and Drammen will also capture the attention of European handball fans.
Kolstad have only made one previous appearance in a European Cup competition, but they have lofty goals for the future and have added Torbjørn Bergerud and Magnus Gullerud to their squad for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, Drammen, who reached the semi-finals of the EHF European Cup Men in 2021/22, will make their first appearance in a qualification round of Europe's second-tier competition since they lost to THW Kiel in the EHF Cup in 2018/19.
Fellow Scandinavian sides IFK Kristianstad, IK Sävehof and Bjerringbro-Silkeborg will face clubs that have plenty of European experience. IFK Kristianstad will meet Slovenian club Trimo Trebnje, who played in the EHF European League group phase in 2020/21, while fellow Swedish side IK Sävehof will take on former Challenge Cup finalists AHC Potaissa Turda from Romania. Denmark's Bjerringbro-Silkeborg arguably have a tougher test against Rebi Balonmano Cuenca, who qualified for the group phase of the EHF Cup in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
Flensburg, Bidasoa Irun and Montpellier await in round 2
The 10 winners of the qualification round 1 ties will progress to qualification round 2. 14 teams – including SG Flensburg Handewitt, Bidasoa Irun and Montpellier Handball – have already been seeded to qualification round 2. The draw for qualification round 2 is scheduled for 6 September 2022.
Defending champions SL Benfica and 2020/21 runners-up Füchse Berlin are among the 12 clubs that will enter the competition in the group phase. The group phase, which will feature 24 teams, will begin on 25 October 2022 and will conclude with the 10th round on 28 February 2023.
EHF European League Men 2022/23 qualification round 1 draw
Rebi Balonmano Cuenca (ESP) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN)
Dobrogea Sud Constanta (ROU) vs Chambery Savoie MB HB (FRA)
CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU) vs FTC (HUN)
HC Cocks (FIN) vs Aguas Santas Milaneza (POR)
IK Sävehof (SWE) vs AHC Potaissa Turda (ROU)
Gornik Zabrze (POL) vs GC Amicitia Zürich (SUI)
ALPA HC Hard (AUT) vs HC Eurofarm Pelister 2 (MKD)
Kolstad Handball (NOR) vs Drammen HK (NOR)
IFK Kristianstad (SWE) vs Trimo Trebnje (SLO)
BM Logroño La Rioja (ESP) vs TBV Lemgo Lippe (GER)