25 Aug. 2022
The new season of the EHF European League Men, the second-tier continental club competition, will get underway with 10 first-leg matches of qualifying round 1 on 27/28 August. The return games will be held one week later, on 3/4 September.
Some former EHF Champions League participants among 20 teams who feature in the opening round, and two of them, Logrono La Rioja from Spain and TBV Lemgo Lippe from Germany, will face each other. Last season, both sides reached the group phase of the EHF European League Men, but one of them will be eliminated already after the opening stage.
Denmark's Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, who also have experience playing in Europe's top flight, will meet the Spanish side Rebi Balonmano Cuenca. At the same time, Sweden's IFK Kristianstad are set to face Trimo Trebnje from Slovenia.
The only national derby at this stage features two Norwegian teams, Kolstad Handball and Drammen HK. Kolstad are opening their only second campaign in the European club competitions. Still, they set ambitious goals and have reinforced their squad with Norway national team players Torbjorn Bergerud and Magnus Gullerud. In turn, Drammen, who reached the semi-final of the EHF European Cup Men last season, boast more experience.
The 10 winners of the opening stage will progress to the qualification round 2, to be played on 27 September and 4 October. 14 more teams will enter the tournament at this stage, including former EHF Champions League winners SG Flensburg Handewitt, Bidasoa Irun and Montpellier Handball.
Titleholders SL Benfica are among 12 teams seeded directly into the group stage. It will feature 24 teams and will be played between 25 October 2022 and 28 February 2023.
Photo: European Handball Federation