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Date: 10/20/2018

The 1st IHF South and Central American Emerging Nations Men’s Championship starts on Monday (22 October) in Palmira, Colombia, before ending with the final on Sunday 28 October.

Hosted by the Colombian Handball Federation, 11 South and Central American national teams will compete for regional honours with all games to be played at the ‘Pavillon Blanco’ Sports Centre, Palmira.

Palmira is a city and municipality in southwestern Colombia in the Valle del Cauca Department, located about 17 miles (27 km) east from Cali. Palmira is the third largest city in the Valle del Cauca, behind Cali and Buenaventura. The city is known as the agricultural capital of Colombia, with its main source of income being agriculture, especially sugarcane cultivation.

The tournament will start with the preliminary round with matches taking place over three match days - Monday 22, Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 October. The preliminary round groups are:

Group A: Paraguay (PAR), Costa Rica (CRC), Panama (PAN)
Group B: Colombia (COL), Ecuador (ECU), El Salvador (ESA), Honduras (HON)
Group C: Guatemala (GUA), Peru (PER), French Guiana (GUF), Bolivia (BOL)

After a rest day on Thursday 25 October, the quarter-finals then take place on Friday 26 October, followed by the semi-finals (27 October) and finals (28 October). The same period will also feature the 5-8 and 9-12 Placement Rounds.

The IHF Emerging Nations Championship is for players aged 16-24 years old with up to three players older than 24 allowed in playing squads. All delegations (players and officials) have a maximum of up to 17 persons, with a maximum of 14 players to be named at the technical meeting tomorrow. During the competition up to two players can be replaced from the original squad list. 

The 1st South and Central American Emerging Nations Men’s Championship builds on the success of the first two IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championships held in Kosovo (2015) and Bulgaria (2017) which focussed on nations from the European Handball Federation who are part of the IHF’s ‘Four-Year Plan’.

“After the great success of the first two IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championships in Europe, it is now Colombia’s time to shine in the spotlight of international handball, as the country hosts the first-ever IHF South and Central American Men’s Emerging Nations Championship,” said IHF President Dr Hassan Moustafa ahead of the tournament. 

“As the Emerging Nations Championships in Kosovo and Bulgaria have shown, the event has a lot to offer as all teams are given the chance to compete and gain valuable experience at international level and exchange with athletes from all over the continent.

“11 nations from South and Central America will face each other in Palmira, western Colombia, to fight for the trophy and the honour of winning the maiden edition of the IHF South and Central American Men’s Emerging Nations Championship. Of course, every team wants to go down in history and give their best to go all the way so that we can expect nail-biting matches and a thrilling event.

“As the event will bring handball in the focus of fans, sponsors and media once more, I hope that this competition is another great step for the development and promotion of handball not only in Colombia but in the entire South and Central American continent.

“I wish all participating teams the best of luck and a good time ahead. We look forward to an exciting competition in the spirit of fair play. May the best team win.”

Follow the tournament via the IHF mini-site HERE. All matches will be streamed live on the YouTube channel of the Colombian Handball Federation.