Women’s EHF EURO 2024: Austria takes the lead


After the announcement of co-host Hungary to take over a smaller role in the organization of the Women’s EHF EURO 2024, joint negotiations between Austria, Switzerland and Hungary, and thanks to the funding commitments of the Ministry of Sport and the City of Vienna, the main round and the final weekend planned in Budapest could be brought to the Austrian capital. With two preliminary round groups in Innsbruck, one main round group and the final weekend in Vienna, the Austrian Handball Federation thus takes the leading role in the organization of EURO 2024. In Switzerland, it remains with two preliminary round groups, Hungary is now planning with two preliminary round groups and one main round group in Debrecen.

“The pledge of support for the 2024 European Women’s Handball Championship was my first official act as Minister of Sport at the beginning of 2020. When the favorable opportunity arose to upgrade Austria from a secondary to a main venue for the European Championship, I didn’t hesitate for a second. Because it fits perfectly with the women’s focus in our funding budget and it opens up great opportunities for women’s sports in general and women’s handball in particular. I am already looking forward to watching the EURO preliminary round in Innsbruck as well as the main and final round in Vienna from the stands,” explains Vice Chancellor and Sports Minister Werner Kogler.

“Vienna has been a popular and valued location for international sporting events in recent years. Especially the role model effect of being able to experience international athletes up close is an important piece of the puzzle to get even more children and young people excited about exercise and sports. Therefore, as Vienna’s City Councillor for Sport, I am particularly pleased that we can welcome the Women’s Handball EURO 2024 to Vienna,” said Vienna’s City Councillor for Sport Peter Hacker.

At the beginning of January 2023, Hungary announced at a press conference that it would take a smaller part in the organization of the Women’s EHF EURO 2024. This announcement hit the co-hosts Switzerland and Austria unexpectedly. In the three-nation bid, which was awarded the EHF EURO 2020 on 25 January 2020, the following split for the first Women’s EURO with 24 nations was originally agreed: Basel (SUI) and Innsbruck were to host two preliminary round groups each, while Debrecen and Budapest (HUN) were to host one preliminary round group each. The two main rounds were to take place in the two Hungarian cities, the final weekend in the Hungarian capital.

Our neighbors’ hosting part is now reduced to two preliminary round groups and one main round group – both in Debrecen. Budapest will withdraw completely from EURO 2024. Instead, Vienna comes into play and takes over both the main round and the final weekend. Austria has emerged stronger from this difficult situation, mainly thanks to the funding commitments of the Ministry and the City of Vienna, and is now taking the lead in the organization.

Markus Plazer, ÖHB President: “First and foremost, we would like to thank the Ministry of Sport, the Province of Tyrol, the City of Innsbruck and, of course, the City of Vienna, who immediately made their commitments for the subsidies, without which a major handball event of this dimension would not be possible. In addition, we would also like to thank the EHF, which showed understanding in this surprising and difficult situation for us as organizers. Together with our Swiss and Hungarian colleagues, we were able to work out a good solution for all sides and in the sense of European women’s handball in the past weeks. We see this as a great opportunity for women’s handball in Austria and want to attract and address further partners by expanding our role in the organization. First and foremost, we are now looking forward to putting all our focus into the organization of the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 and to put on an unforgettable handball festival for our partners, sponsors, fans and especially the players and support staff.”

Homebase Innsbruck

At the start of the Women’s EHF EURO 2024, all eyes will be on Innsbruck. Tyrol’s capital will be home to Austria’s women’s national team and will thus become the center of attention for local fans. If Germany qualifies for the finals, which can be assumed, our neighbors will be placed in the parallel group in Innsbruck. This means that countless fans from the handball Mecca of Germany are also expected.

“With the home team from Austria and that of our northern neighbors from Germany, two crowd-guarantors will play in Innsbruck and will thrill the fans in their preliminary round matches. I am pleased that also thanks to Vienna’s courageous stepping in, the European Women’s Handball Championship in Austria will become a real celebration. Innsbruck wants to play its part and will present itself in the best possible light,” said Innsbruck’s sports councillor Mag.a Elisabeth Mayr, looking forward to next year’s championships.

Deputy Governor Dr. Georg Dornauer adds: “As the responsible Deputy Governor and Sports Officer, I am particularly pleased that the staging of the 2024 European Women’s Handball Championship in Innsbruck and Vienna will make our province the center of the international handball world and give us the chance to live up to our reputation as an outstanding host. The diversity of Tyrol as a sports state is reflected above all in the staging of a wide variety of major events. Tyrol has proven many times in the past that its sports infrastructure as well as existing know-how and experience are ideally suited for hosting such events. Nothing stands in the way of a great and rousing atmosphere.”