Qualifiers draw starts race to EHF EURO 2022
Ready, steady, go! The race to the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro has been officially opened on Thursday with the draw of the qualifiers.
Six groups with four teams each will battle it out between October 2021 and April 2022 for 12 tickets to the finals tournament on 4-20 November 2022.
The six group winners and six runners-up will join the four already qualified teams: defending champions Norway and the three co-hosts.
The groups were drawn by EHF President Michael Wiederer and EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner in a ceremony moderated by Markus Floth.
France face Croatia in eye-catching tie
An eye-catching result of the draw saw the 2018 champions and 2020 runners-up, France, paired with Croatia, who enjoyed a stunning run to the bronze medal last December.
France won their EHF EURO 2020 semi-final 30:19, so Croatia will be eager to take them on again and try to settle the scores.
Their group 4 is completed by Czech Republic and Ukraine.
Also, Olympic champions Russia, the silver medallists from 2018, will try to get their 2022 berth in duels with Poland, Switzerland, and Lithuania in group 1.
Elsewhere, world champions Netherlands, who won silver at EHF EURO 2016 and bronze in 2018, and their neighbours Germany will continue their competitive rivalry when they share group 3 with Belarus.
One team advancing from qualification phase 1 - either Greece, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Latvia - will complete this group.
Denmark, who reached the semi-finals when hosting the event in 2020, will be up against Romania and Austria in group 2, which also includes a team from phase 1: either Faroe Islands, Israel, or Finland.
The 2019 world championship runners-up, Spain, have been handed Hungary and Slovakia as opponents in group 5, with one of the following teams from phase 1 to be added: Portugal, Kosovo, Luxembourg, or Cyprus.
Finally, 2014 bronze medallists Sweden will find Serbia, Iceland and Turkey as their obstacles to the 2022 finals tournament in group 6.
Qualifiers scheduled to start on 6/7 October
The three teams coming through phase 1 will be determined at three tournaments involving a total of 11 teams to be played during an additional national team week from 31 May-6 June.
The Women's EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers are scheduled to start with rounds 1 and 2 on 6/7 October and 9/10 October 2021, with the remaining rounds to be played in March and April 2022.