Seven nations, four Hungarian teams and one former winner

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EHF / Björn Pazen

Back in October the journey to the EHF European League Women group phase began, with 37 teams in the running. Now, after 42 qualification matches, 48 group matches are ahead for the 16 remaining teams of the third season of the competition.

Former European League winners Neptunes de Nantes, four Hungarian teams and an overall of seven nations will start the next stage on 7 January 2023. Before the group phase begins, here are the most important facts and figures of the competition.

1 European Cup debutant is among the 16 group phase participants: Norwegian side Fana

former European League champion is among the 16 group phase participants: Nantes, winners in 2021

1 former EHF FINAL4 participant is part of the group phase: Ikast Handbold, who as FC Midtjylland reached Budapest in 2014

1 goal was the closest gap in the final qualification round: Motherson Mosonmagyarovari KC beat SCM Gloria Buzau 52:51 in aggregate

1 qualification pairing needed to be decided by a penalty shoot-out: MKS Zaglebie Lubin vs HC Podravka Vegeta. Both matches ended in draws, finally the Croatian runners-up won on penalties (50:48 in aggregate)

1 former EHF Champions League finalist qualified for the group phase: SCM Ramnicu Valcea, who were Champions League runners-up to Viborg in 2010

1 participant of the EHF Finals 2022 is part of the 2022/23 group phase: Ikast. Of the other three teams, SG BBM Bietigheim are in the Champions League this season, Viborg HK failed in qualification, and CS Minaur Baia Mare did not qualify for the European Cup

2 teams which played in the EHF Champions League last season qualified for the group phase of the European League: Podravka and BV Borussia 09 Dortmund


2 former Champions League winners were eliminated in qualification: Hypo Niederösterreich in round 2 against VfL Oldenburg and Viborg in round 3 against Nyköbing Falster Håndbold

2 winners of the old EHF Cup are part of the group phase: Siófok KC and Ikast

3 teams that were part of the first ever EHF Finals in Baia Mare in 2021 are back in the 2022/23 group phase: winners Nantes, runners-up Siófok and fourth-ranked side Ikast

3 former winners of the previous Cup Winners’ Cup are part of the group phase: Ikast (twice winners as Midtjylland and Ikast Bording), Valcea and ES Besancon Feminin

3 teams have been part of all three group phases since the implementation of the European League: Ikast, Nantes and Praktiker-Vác

3 2021/22 group phase participants now play in the EHF Champions League: winners Bietigheim of Germany, Norwegian side Storhamar Handball Elite, and Croatia’s HC Lokomotiva Zagreb

4 teams made it from the first qualification round to the group phase: Denmark’s Nyköbing, Hungary’s Siófok, Germany’s Thüringer HC and Norway’s Fana

20230103 ELW F&F Nykobing 2

4 Hungarian teams will be part of the group phase: DVSC Schaeffler, Siófok, Vác and Mosonmagyarovar. Three teams each represent the French and Norwegian leagues, two group phase participants are from both Germany and Denmark, and there is one team from both Croatia and Romania

4 teams were seeded for the group phase: Ikast, DVSC Schaeffler, Paris 92, and Molde Elite

5 different clubs from five different countries won the second-tier European competition since the EHF Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup were merged in the 2016/17 season: Rostov (Russia), Craiova (Romania), Siófok (Hungary), Nantes (France) and Bietigheim (Germany)

7 teams of the current group phase were group phase participants in the previous season: Nantes, Besancon, Valcea, Vác, Ikast, Sola and Mosonmagyarovar

7 nations are represented by the 16 group phase participants, two less than the previous season: France, Romania, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Croatia and Germany are all in, while Poland and Russia are out

37 teams
in total are or were part of this competition, 21 were eliminated in qualification

48 group matches will take place before the eight quarter-finalists are confirmed

74 goals by Dortmund against Serbian champions Zeleznicar was the highest number of goals scored by one team in the final qualification round, ahead of 69 goals by Nantes against Oldenburg

2,313 goals were scored in the two qualification rounds, an average of 55.1 goals per match. Qualification round 2 saw 970 goals in 18 matches, including one 10:0 result decided by the Court of Handball; and in round 3 there were 1,343 goals in 24 matches

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