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02.11.2011, 16:30
Kick-off for Spain 2013
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The first stage of the European Men’s World Championship Qualification starts on Wednesday with seven games.
 

Kick-off for Spain 2013

The Men’s EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia is still ahead, but the European qualification for the Men’s World Championships 2013 in Spain (January 2013) is right before the start.

21 teams compete in 42 matches for seven places in the play-offs for Spain, played in June 2012.

All teams that did not qualify for the final tournament of the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia will start in this first qualification stage. The seven group winners qualify for the in total nine play-off matches – the remaining eleven teams are the ones which do not get a direct qualification place for Spain 2013 at the EHF EURO in Serbia.

Spain (host) and France (defending World champions) are already qualified; the three best ranked teams from Serbia book a straight ticket to the World Championship.

The first two rounds of this qualification stage will be played this Wednesday and Saturday/Sunday – in all seven groups the same two teams meet in home and away matches.

Group 1: Austria, Israel, Great Britain

Round 1
Great Britain vs. Israel
2 November 2011, 19:00 hrs (local time), London

Round 2
Israel vs. Great Britain
6 November 2011, 19:30 hrs (local time), Rishion Le Zion

Only eleven days after the surprisingly strong performance of their women’s team against Russia in the EHF EURO qualification, the British handball fans will have another highlighter: The men’s team – qualified as the host for the London 2012 Olympics – will face Israel. Israel’s team were the winners of the first qualification stage for the EHF EURO 2012, but later-on failed against Sweden and Slovakia in the second stage.

Group 2: Portugal, Ukraine, Turkey

Round 1
Turkey vs. Ukraine
2 November 2011, 19:00 hrs (local time), Mersin

Round 2
Ukraine vs. Turkey
6 November 2011, 17:00 hrs (local time), Zaporozhye

Ukraine and Portugal met in the EHF EURO 2012 quali with one home victory each, but both were eliminated by Poland and Slovenia on their way to Serbia. Now the Eastern Europeans have to face Turkey in their first two matches. The Turkish team missed the second stage of the EHF EURO qualification after a decisive defeat against Israel. Ukraine can count on their top star Sergej Onufrienko.

Group 3: Montenegro, Latvia, Belgium

Round 1
Belgium vs. Latvia
2 November 2011, 20:15 hrs (local time), Kortrijk

Round 2
Latvia vs. Belgium
5 November 2011, 15:05 hrs (local time), Dobele

Latvia missed the qualification for Serbia without any point against Germany, Iceland and Austria, Belgium was third in the pre-qualification for the EHF EURO – so the Baltic team is in the favourite role in both matches.

Group 4: Estonia, Netherlands, Finland

Round 1
Finland vs. Netherlands
2 November 2011, 19:00 hrs (local time), Vantaa

Round 2
Netherlands vs. Finland
5 November 2011, 19:30 hrs (local time), Geleen

The Netherlands had been participating at the EHF EURO qualification but ranked fourth in the end below Greece, Norway and Czech Republic. Finland missed the second stage of the EHF EURO 2012 qualification closely in the direct encounter against Latvia. The Finnish team start with great confidence after winning the IHF Intercontinental Challenge Trophy – but the Netherlands can count on higher international experience.

Group 5: Lithuania, Switzerland, Italy

Round 1
Italy vs. Switzerland
2 November 2011, 18:00 hrs (local time), Brixen

Round 2
Switzerland vs. Italy
6 November 2011, 16:00 hrs (local time), Schaffhausen

Switzerland are the favourites in this neighbours’ duel: With their players from the European top clubs Schaffhausen or Zurich and the experience from EHF EURO qualification they seem to be in the better role. Italy missed the second stage of the EHF EURO qualification against Latvia.

Group 6: Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus

Round 1
Cyprus vs. Bosnia Herzegovina
2 November 2011, 19:00 hrs (local time), Nicosia

Round 2
Bosnia Herzegovina vs. Cyprus
5 November 2011, 20:15 hrs (local time) Gorazde

A VELUX EHF Champions League winner in the first qualification stage: With their outstanding goalkeeper Danijel Saric and the experienced players from VELUX EHF Champions League participants Bosna Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina are the favourites in this encounter. Cyprus missed the EHF EURO qualification against Estonia, and Bosnia failed on their way to Serbia against Hungary and FYR Macedonia.

Group 7: Belarus, Romania, Luxembourg

Round 1
Luxembourg vs. Romania
2 November 2011, 19:30 hrs (local time), Schifflange

Round 2
Romania vs. Luxembourg
5 November 2011, 15:00 hrs (local time), Buzau

Despite their weak performance in the EHF EURO 2012 qualification with zero points from six matches, Romania are the favourites against Luxemburg. Those matches will be very special ones for the Luxembourg national coach Adrian Stot. He is Romanian and was 50 times player for the Romanian national team.

Further qualification matches

Round 3: Wednesday/Thursday 04/05 January 2012
Round 4: Saturday/Sunday 07/08 January 2012
Round 5: Wednesday/Thursday 11/12 January 2012
Round 6: Saturday/Sunday 14/15 January 2012

Qualification Phase two – Play-Off Matches

Seven teams from Phase one and the eleven teams from EHF EURO 2012 not qualified for the 2013 Men’s World Championship yet meet in play-off matches. These will be played in a KO-system with first and second leg matches at two weekends. According to a decision of the EHF Executive Committee in March 2003 no double matches in one country shall be allowed.

Match Schedule

Leg 1: Saturday/Sunday 09/10 June 2012
Leg 2: Saturday/Sunday 16/17 June 2012

The nine winners of the play-off matches will qualify for the final tournament of the 2013 Men's World Championship in Spain. The fixtures for Phase 2 – Play-Off Matches will be drawn on 29 January 2012 in Belgrade (SRB).

Further information

Visit the official website.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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