Race to the EHF EURO 2022 begins on Thursday
The race for the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 will begin this week when 11 teams contest phase 1 of the qualifiers on the road to the final tournament in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro. Three places in qualifiers phase 2 are at stake and will be decided through round-robin tournaments taking place in Kosovo, Greece and Faroe Islands.
All matches will be streamed on the EHF’s free-with-registration platform EHFTV.com.
- qualifiers phase 1 sees 11 teams divided into three round-robin tournaments, with two groups featuring four teams and one with three. The first-ranked sides from each will proceed to phase 2
- group A, playing in Prishtina, features Portugal, Kosovo, Luxembourg and Cyprus, with matches to be played this Thursday, Friday and Saturday
- group B sees Greece, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Latvia contending for the right to progress. They will play in Veria with games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- Faroe Islands, Israel and Finland will play in group B in Torshavn, also on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- the qualified teams will join 21 other teams already drawn into their phase 2 groups, with that stage set to open in October 2021. From there, 12 sides will progress to the final tournament, joining the directly qualified co-hosts (Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro) and defending champions Norway
Five teams aim to progress for first time
For five teams, the EHF EURO 2022 phase 1 qualifiers represent the chance to make history: Luxembourg, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia and Israel have never made it out of this stage and reached phase 2 before.
For Cyprus, it is the first participation in the EURO qualifiers since the year the competition was launched, in 1994. Since then, the bulk of their international experience has been gained in the Challenge Trophy, plus one phase 1 World Championship qualification for the 2011 edition.
Of the teams in this iteration of phase 1, Faroe Islands, Portugal, Kosovo, Greece and Italy reached phase 2 on the path to the EHF EURO 2020. Portugal are the only team in phase 1 to have made it to the final tournament, placing 16th in 2008 in North Macedonia.
Update, Friday 4 June: The match Italy vs Latvia, originally scheduled for Friday night, has been assessed due to travel difficulties for Latvia. The remaining group B matches will be played as scheduled.