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Date: 11/27/2018

The Women’s EHF EURO 2018 is set to begin in four cities across France on November 29, with 16 nations vying for the continental title at what is the 13th edition of the event. Current world champions France will hope to win their first ever European gold medal in front of their home crowd in Paris when the EURO finishes on December 16.


It is the first time France have hosted any EHF EURO, though the French Handball Federation bring considerable experience from their organisation of IHF World Championships – most recently the men’s event in France in 2017. Some of the venues used for the Men’s World Championship in 2017 will host Women’s EHF EURO 2018 matches, with the final to be played in AccorHotels Arena in Paris, where the France men’s side won their sixth world title.


The France women’s team are eager to replicate the success of the men’s side playing a major international championship at home, and goalkeeper Laura Glauser said she hopes the squad can capitalise on the home advantage.


“I saw what went on during the last World Championship, with people getting interested in handball and us. I’m sure that these fans will be in the venues cheering this time. Emotionally, it’s going to be great,” Glauser told the official website of the EHF EURO.


Norway will aim to defend their back-to-back EHF EURO titles, which extended their record of most trophies won at the event to seven. The Scandinavian claimed their first title at the third EURO, in 1998, before a period of dominance began in 2004 – since then, Norway have won all but one edition of the bi-annual event, in 2012.


At the EURO 2016, Norway beat the Netherlands in the final – the same opponent they faced in the 2016 Olympic Games bronze-medal match, the 2015 World Championship final and the 2017 World Championship semi-final. Both sides are favourites to reach the podium again, though the Netherlands squad appears weakened by the absence of 2017 World Championship All-star line player Yvette Broch (retired) and injured captain Danick Snelder.


Norway will start their campaign in Group D, playing in Brest. They will take on 2015 World Championship bronze medallists Romania, Germany and Czech Republic. The Netherlands play from preliminary Group C, in Montbeliard, meeting Hungary, Spain and Croatia. Hosts France will open their campaign in Group B in Nancy, taking on Russia in a rematch of the Rio 2016 Olympic final in Round 1. France will also face EURO 2012 champions Montenegro and Slovenia. EHF EURO 2016 semi-finalists Denmark and 2017 World Championship semi-finalists Sweden will both play from Group A in Nantes, alongside Serbia and Poland.


At the end of the preliminary round, the top three teams in each group proceed to the main round, carrying the points won against the other nations progressing from the group into the next stage. The six teams in each main round group will then play cross-matches against those they have yet to meet, with the top two sides in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.


More information on the EHF EURO 2018 can be found on the official website. Matches will be streamed free and live on ehfTV.com.

Photo: EHF