Greek club AEK Athens, the current champions of the EHF European Cup Men, have received a wild card and will start in the group phase of the EHF European League Men in the 2021/22 season.
The decision was confirmed on Tuesday by the European Handball Federation, as the seeding list for the competition – featuring 52 teams in total – was published.
AEK Athens complete the group of 12 teams which have been seeded directly to the group phase.
As announced on 1 July, the additional 11 clubs are: Defending champions SC Magdeburg (GER), HBC Nantes (FRA), Bidasoa Irun (ESP), Grundfos Tatabánya KC (HUN), IK Sävehof (SWE), HC Eurofarm Pelister (MKD), Pfadi Winterthur HB (SUI), Chekhovskie medvedi (RUS), RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO), Tatran Presov (SVK) and Cocks (FIN).
Of the remaining 40 clubs, eight, including EHF Finals Men 2021 participants Füchse Berlin (GER) and Orlen Wisla Plock (POL), have been seeded to qualification round 2.
Another 32 teams open the competition with their respective qualification round 1 matches on 28/29 August – the very first European club handball matches of the 2021/22 season – and the second legs on 4/5 September 2021.
The group phase featuring 24 teams will start with its first round on 19 October 2021 (draw on 30 September). The tenth and final round will be played on 8 March 2022.
The first legs of the Last 16 and the quarter-finals are scheduled for end of March and end of April respectively (the return matches one week later), before four teams will have made to the EHF Finals Men 2022.