12 teams prepare for IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship in Varna

21 Apr. 2023

12 teams prepare for IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship in Varna

The 4th edition of the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship will take place next week in Varna, Bulgaria, with 12 teams entering the fray for the coveted title and a new champion being crowned after the previous winners, the Faroe Islands and Georgia, will not take part.

This will be the first edition of the competition since 2019, with the one in 2021 being cancelled due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams from five continents will feature in the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna, with hosts Bulgaria aiming to clinch their first trophy after ending in third place at the previous edition. 

Only Great Britain and Malta will return to the competition for the fourth time. At the same time, the only debutants are Guatemala, which are on an upward trend and will try to impress during their first major international competition.

Cuba, the last edition’s runners-up, are also returning to the competition, aiming to better their result and become the first non-European side to clinch the trophy.

The only African team to feature in the competition will be Nigeria, where right back Faruk Yusuf, who had an outstanding season for Fraikin BM. Granollers, is going to star, while the only Asian side taking part is India. Australia will also return to the competition for the first time since 2015, with the Oceania side aiming high.

The 12 teams are divided into four groups of four teams each, with the winners of each group qualifying for the semi-finals.

The final will take place on Sunday 30 April in Varna, with the winners of the two semi-finals competing for the big trophy.

2023 IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship

Group A: Malta, India, Andorra
Group B: Cyprus, Republic of Moldova, Australia
Group C: Great Britain, Cuba, Guatemala
Group D: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Nigeria

Photo: Handball Federation Great Britain