EHF holds Qualification Phase 1 draw for Women’s EHF EURO 2022

18 Mar. 2021

EHF holds Qualification Phase 1 draw for Women’s EHF EURO 2022

The Women’s EHF EURO 2020 provided exciting games and dramatic finishes only three months ago, but the road to the next European Championship has already started.

The draw for Qualification Phase 1 of the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 took place at the European Handball Federation (EHF) office in Vienna on Wednesday, with 11 teams learning their fate.

Three places for Qualification Phase 2 are up for grabs, with the 11 teams taking part in this phase of the competition drawn in three groups. The teams ranked first in the group phase, which will take place between 31 May and 6 June 2021 will proceed to the next phase of the competition.

Group 1 features four sides, as Portugal, Kosovo, Luxembourg and Cyprus will fight for the first place at the end of the round-robin tournament. 

Newcomer Cyprus have the least experience, having last taken part in the Qualification Phase of the EHF EURO in 1994. Luxembourg have also exited the EHF EURO 2020 Qualification in the first phase after losing their three games, while Portugal and Kosovo look to be heavy favourites to proceed from this tournament. 

Despite losing the last eight games in the EHF EURO Qualification Phase, Kosovo had their share of success against emerging sides, proceeding from the Qualification Phase 1 of the EHF EURO 2018 with wins against Georgia and Israel.

In Group 2, Greece will look to build upon their success two years ago, when they won the Qualifying Phase I, with victories against Israel, Finland and Luxembourg. However, Italy, Bosnia Herzegovina and Latvia will be looking to stop the Greek side, who was granted organising rights.

Greece, however, look like overwhelming favourites, as Italy have last won a game in the EHF EURO Qualification Phase in 2007, while Bosnia Herzegovina and Latvia are back in the Qualification Phase of the top European competition for the first time since 2008.

Group 3 features only three teams, with the Faroe Islands, Israel and Finland toughing it out for a chance to proceed to the next phase of the competition, where European powerhouses will join.

The Faroe Islands look to be the prime pick to advance, as they beat Finland four years ago 20:17 in the Qualification Phase 1 of the EHF EURO 2018, while also taking the fight to Romania one year ago, in the Qualification Phase 2 of the EHF EURO 2020, losing 20:25, after leading at the break. Israel and Finland drew 26:26 one year ago in the Qualification Phase 1 of the EHF EURO 2020.

The organising rights for the tournaments were granted to the Faroe Islands, Portugal and Greece, followed by Italy, Kosovo, Israel, then Finland, Luxembourg and Bosnia Herzegovina. If teams defer, then Cyprus and Latvia can host the Qualification Phase 1 tournaments.

16 teams will take part in the Women’s EHF EURO 2022, which is scheduled to take place in Slovenia, Montenegro and North Macedonia in December 2022. The three hosts, alongside reigning champions Norway, are assured berths in the competition, leaving another 12 spots open.

Visit the EHF EURO website for more information.

Photo: EHF