The EHF Executive Committee has come together in Vienna on Friday for its March meeting.
Following an initiative of the European Handball Federation and a subsequent approval by the International Handball Federation, an IHF/EHF Trophy tournament is foreseen to be played in Tbilisi, Georgia from 15 to 21 June 2021.
The teams of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Great Britain, Georgia, Ireland, Moldova and Malta are entitled to participate at the IHF/EHF Trophy.
The tournament replaces the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship which was scheduled for April 2021 but cancelled. It also replaces the Men’s EHF EURO 2024 Phase 1 Qualifiers which initially featured a tournament including Georgia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Great Britain.
With this, the IHF/EHF Trophy forms an integral part of the qualification to the Men’s EHF EURO 2024. The trophy’s three best teams will qualify for the so-called relegation round in which they have the chance to gain their place in the Men’s EHF EURO 2024 Qualifiers.
Additional information will be released by the EHF once the exact number of participants is determined.
The IHF/EHF Trophy completes the EHF’s event summer with no less than 12 indoor events foreseen to be played.
- Men’s 17 European Open from 5 to 9 July in Sweden
- Women’s 19 EHF EURO from 8 to 18 July in Slovenia
- Women’s 19 EHF Championships from 10 to 18 July in Italy and North Macedonia
- Women’s 17 EHF EURO from 5 to 15 August in Montenegro
- Women’s 17 EHF Championships from 7 to 15 August in Georgia and Lithuania
- Men’s 19 EHF EURO from 12 to 22 August in Croatia
- Men’s 19 EHF Championships from 15 to 22 August in Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Latvia
Optional wild card for the EHF European League Men
The Executive Committee confirmed a motion coming from the Competitions Commission for the option of a wild card in the EHF European League Men as of the 2021/22 season.
Following the commission’s approach, one club can be awarded with a wild card to the group phase and does not have to play the qualification rounds.
It was underlined that this wild card can only go to one team of a federation that does not already have a guaranteed place in order to keep the philosophy of awarding 12 different federations with a place in the group phase.
The awarding will be done by the Executive Committee.
20 players can be nominated for EHF EUROs
Several topics related to national team competitions were on the agenda, including the final report of EHF EURO 2020 and the corresponding accounting with Denmark, respectively Norway.
With the analysis at hand and looking ahead to the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia, the EXEC approved adaptations to the EHF EURO 2022 regulations.
As of the upcoming January event, 20 players – instead of 16 – can be nominated at the technical meeting and out of the official squad list of 35 players. One hour prior to a match, four players will then be crossed off the start list.
This change is deemed to reduce the burden for players at the final tournament.
Looking at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EHF EURO Hygiene Concept has become an integrated part of the regulations. Furthermore, it was confirmed by the EXEC that teams shall arrive two days prior to their first matches.
Following an information on the most recent rounds of Men’s EHF EURO 2022 Qualifiers and taking note of the EHF’s as well as the respective federations’ efforts to find and schedule playing dates for matches which could not be played, the EXEC underlined that no more qualification matches shall be played after 2 May 2021 in order to safeguard a proper calculation of the four best third-ranked teams.
This date marks the end of the qualification period. The final tournament draw is scheduled for 6 May in Budapest.
Beyond the next men’s event, the EXEC confirmed the playing schedules for the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro as well as for the Men’s EHF EURO 2024. Both schedules will be published following consultations with the respective organisers.