Long road to the 2025 IHF Men's World Championship starts with Qualification Europe Phase 1

02 Nov. 2023

Long road to the 2025 IHF Men's World Championship starts with Qualification Europe Phase 1

There is still a long time until the start of the 2025 IHF Men’s World Championship, which will take place between 15 January and 2 February, the first-ever competition to be hosted by three countries – Croatia, Denmark and Norway – but the long path towards the participation for some teams will start on Thursday, 2 November.

There are only five teams already qualified for the world handball flagship competition, the three hosts, plus the runners-up at the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship, France, and the United States of America, which have been awarded a wild-card.

10 teams will be lining up at the start of the Europe Qualification Phase 1 for the 2025 IHF Men’s World Championship, with five doubleheaders scheduled for this part, with the winners progressing to the first part of the Qualification Phase 2, with Lithuania, Ukraine and Belgium already waiting there. The second part of the Qualification Phase 2 will feature 18 teams which are taking part in the EHF EURO 2024.

There will be plenty of drama in the next week, with some true hard clashes at this level, as the battle between Türkiye and Italy, two sides which have impressed in the past years, has already drawn first blood, with Türkiye taking a clear win, 37:28, in the first leg of the doubleheader. The second leg will take place in Italy on Sunday, 5 November.

Great Britain have impressed last spring at the 2023 IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship, where they ended up in fifth place, and they will face another strong side at this level in Finland, a team which they lost against, 22:38, in November 2021, in the Qualification Phase 1 for Poland/Sweden 2023.

Finland also had an interesting run in the spring, featuring in the EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers, where they lost against Serbia, 29:30, and against Norway, 23:32, measuring up excellently with two powerhouses in Europe.

Slovakia, which featured at the IHF Men’s World Championship in 2009 and 2011, will aim to seal another berth in the competition and they are favoured against Kosovo, a side which has never qualified to the world handball flagship competition.

The Baltic derby between Latvia and Estonia has no real favourite, with plenty of drama between the two rivals expected in Valmiera and Tallinn, as the two sides also aim for their maiden berth at the IHF Men’s World Championship.

The last pairing, the one between Israel and Luxembourg, has been postponed. The EHF, in coordination with the two teams, has decided to reschedule those matches, with new playing dates to be announced in due time, due to the current situation in Israel.