01 Oct. 2019
The new season of the men’s EHF Champions League has been running for almost a month, but now it is time for the new handball year in Europe to really get underway, as the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League is set to begin on Friday, 4 October.
The first matches of the women’s Champions League 2019/20 officially took place in early September, with Czech team DHK Banik Most winning the qualification tournament to earn the final place in the group matches – the phase seen as the real start of the season’s competition.
On Friday, 4 October, it will be Romanian team SCM Ramnicu Valcea and German side SG BBM Bietigheim who open the group matches with the first clash of this stage for 2019/20. The two teams compete in Group C, alongside French club Brest Bretagne Handball and Montenegrin team Buducnost.
The defending champions, Györi Audi ETO KC, will start their campaign in Group D. This season, the Hungarian powerhouse are aiming for their fourth consecutive trophy, and sixth overall. In the group matches, they will meet Swedish team IK Sävehof – the only club with both men’s and women’s sides competing in the Champions League this season, Slovenian squad RK Krim Mercator, and Banik Most.
The 2019/20 runners-up Rostov-Don, from Russia, will play from Group B. They will meet Danish side Team Esbjerg, Polish club MKS Perla Lublin and Romanian team CSM Bucuresti in the group matches.
Group A features the other two semi-finalists from the previous season: French club Metz Handball and Norwegian team Vipers Kristiansand. Their other rivals will be Croatian side HC Podravka Vegeta and Hungarian squad FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.
From the group matches, the top three teams in each group progress to the main round. The group matches will end in mid-November, and the main round will begin at the end of January 2020 and run through until early March, after which the quarter-finals will be played. From there, the top four teams will contest the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 in Budapest on 9 and 10 May.
More information on the DELO WOMEN’S EHF Champions League can be found on the official website.
Photo credit: Aniko Kovacs