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Date: 6/24/2013

16 teams, four venues – and high hurdles for the current World and Olympic Champions already in the first stage – the 2014 Men’s European Championship will bring highest tension, one year before host Denmark will also be the organizer of the 2015 Women’s World Championship. The draw for the preliminary round was conducted by EHF President Jean Brihault and EHF Secretary General Michael Wiederer in the Boxen Arena in Herning, where the Danish team will have all their matches and where the final will be played on 26 January 2014.
The draw brought tough competitors for World Champion Spain and Olympic Champion France. Spain will face 2008 Olympic silver medallist Iceland, 2012 Olympic semi-finalist Hungary and Norway in Group B in Aalborg; France will play against 2012 European silver-medallist Serbia, 2007 World Championship runners-up Poland and Russia in Group C in Aarhus. Host and defending European Champion Denmark will have an easier start into the tournament with matches against Czech Republic, FYR Macedonia and Austria in Herning. Group D in Copenhagen consists of Olympic silver medallist Sweden, Olympic and World Championship bronze medallist Croatia and the surprise teams of Belarus and Montenegro, who had defeated big names in the qualification before. Montenegro had caused the first ever absence of Germany in the history of European Championships. But not only the 5th ranked team of the 2013 World Championship in Spain missed the tournament in Denmark, but also semi-finalist Slovenia, which had been beaten by Belarus.
The three best-ranked teams of each preliminary round group proceed to the main round (played in Herning and Aarhus), the two best-ranked main round teams each make it to the semi-finals in Herning.