Women’s EHF EURO 2024 qualifiers draw sets up local clashes

10/10/2023

Regional rivalries have come to the fore after the draw event for the Women’s EHF EURO 2024, with several teams set to face their neighbours when the Qualifiers begin in October this year.

EHF EURO 2022 bronze medallists Montenegro will play neighbours Serbia, with Türkiye and Bulgaria in the same group 6. Bulgaria shares a border with both Serbia and Türkiye.

Similarly, Croatia and neighbouring Bosnia & Herzegovina are drawn in group 1 alongside Romania and Greece.

Group 7 has a heavy Nordic flavour, with Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands set to play each other alongside Luxembourg.

2022 silver medallists Denmark were drawn in group 8, with Poland and Kosovo. Due to the withdrawal of Great Britain from the Qualifiers process, this group has only three teams.

The draw was carried out by EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner and handball stars Beatrice Edwige (France),  Jovanka Radicevic (Montenegro), three-time EHF EURO champion Veronica Kristiansen (Norway), and Kerstin Kündig (Switzerland).

Before the draw Edwige said France would like to face “one strong team and one team we never faced in qualification”. The 2018 champions will play against Slovenia, Italy and Latvia in group 4; although they have met Slovenia on numerous occasions, Italy and Latvia are indeed new opponents.

Women’s EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers

Group 1: Croatia, Romania, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Group 2: Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine, Israel
Group 3: Netherlands, Czech Republic, Portugal, Finland
Group 4: France, Slovenia, Italy, Latvia
Group 5: Spain, North Macedonia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan
Group 6: Montenegro, Serbia, Türkiye, Bulgaria
Group 7: Sweden, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg
Group 8: Denmark, Poland, Kosovo

Qualification system

The first and the second ranked teams as well as the as the four best third-ranked teams will qualify for the Women’s EHF EURO 2024. After the conclusion of the group matches of the eight groups, an overall ranking of those teams ranked third in each Qualifiers group will be established.

This ranking includes only the results of the four matches of third ranked teams against the two teams ranked first and second in the group. The results of the two matches against the teams ranked fourth in the group will not be considered. The four best teams from this ranking of the third-ranked teams will also qualify for the final tournament of the Women’s EHF EURO 2024.

Up to a maximum of four lowest-ranked teams of the fourth-ranked teams in the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers are relegated to the promotion round, which will be played between these four teams and the winners of the Women’s EHF EURO 2026 Qualifiers Phase 1.

Basic match schedule

The Women’s EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers and the Women’s EHF EURO CUP 2024 will be played in three periods of two matches each (six rounds), as the playing schedule is based on four teams in each group. The Qualifiers begin on Wednesday 11 October 2023 and conclude on Sunday 7 April 2024.

At the same time as the Qualifiers, the EHF EURO Cup 2024 will be played. The tournament features EHF EURO 2024 co-hosts Austria, Hungary and Switzerland and defending champions Norway, who are all pre-qualified for the final tournament.

Final tournament

At the final event in November and December 2024, two preliminary-round groups will be each played in Basel (Switzerland), Innsbruck (Austria) and Debrecen (Hungary).

As the Women’s EHF EURO 2024 is the first to be organised with 24 teams, there will be six groups of four.

The main round will be played in Debrecen and Vienna, with two groups of six, and Vienna is also the location for the final weekend.

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