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19.06.2014, 13:46
Europe’s best teams gather in Hungary and Croatia
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NEWS REPORT: The Women's EHF EURO 2014 Draw in Zagreb has decided the preliminary round groups for the final tournament in December. EHF EURO record winners, Norway, face Denmark, defending champions, Montenegro, play against France, Serbia and Slovakia
 

Europe’s best teams gather in Hungary and Croatia

After 72 qualification matches have been played, the 16 participating teams for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 are confirmed.

A field made up of experienced squads as well as up and coming national teams will take to the court in December in Hungary and Croatia. International ticket sales for the event start on 8 July 2014.

At the final tournament draw in Zagreb the teams were drawn in the following groups

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Hungary

Norway

Sweden

Montenegro

Spain

Denmark

Germany

France

Russia

Romania

Croatia

Serbia

Poland

Ukraine

Netherlands

Slovakia

The two hosts, Hungary and Croatia, had the right before the draw to determine one team per group. This meant that Hungary had already been placed in Group A, Denmark in Group B, Croatia in Group C, and Slovakia in Group D.

The preliminary round will be played in the Hungarian cities of Györ (Group A) and Debrecen (Group B) and the Croatian cities of Varazdin (Group C) and Osijek (Group D). The main round will take place in Debrecen and the Croatian capital, Zagreb. For the finals the event will move to Budapest.

International ticket sales for the event start on 8 July 2014. Tickets can then be purchased via the official website, www.ehf-euro.com. They will be available in three different categories, and entry to matches for the preliminary round will start from as little as 8 euro.

The very best women’s handball has on offer

The Women’s EHF EURO 2014 is the 11th edition of the European Handball Federation’s flagship women’s national team event. It is the second time that the Women’s EHF EURO is hosted by two nations, after Denmark and Norway welcomed Europe’s 16 best women’s teams in December 2010. The final tournament in Hungary and Croatia takes place from 7 to 21 December 2014.

"In little less than six months, the global handball community will get to witness the very best of women’s European handball in the wonderful countries of Hungary and Croatia. Both have shown in the past that they are more than capable of staging superb handball events," said EHF President Jean Brihault at the final tournament draw in Zagreb.

Hungary hosted the Women’s EHF EURO 2004 and most recently, in May 2014, the country’s capital, Budapest, hosted the MVM EHF FINAL4, the final weekend of the Women’s EHF Champions League. Croatia successfully staged the Men’s EHF EURO 2000 as well as the Women’s World Championship 2003 and the men’s event in 2009.

Stalwarts and surprises

Following the qualification, which started back in October 2013, 16 nations have made it to the Women’s EHF EURO 2014. Defending champions, Montenegro, as well as EHF EURO record winners, Norway, and three-time champions, Denmark, were among the first to qualify.

But this phase was not short of surprises either, with Poland snatching a 25:22 victory against Czech Republic in Round 6 and literally qualifying in the very last minute only courtesy of the away goals rule in the direct encounter. Slovakia were another surprise package as their decisive match became the 24:24 against France in Round 5 which saw them qualifying for their first EHF EURO event since 1994.

Ahead of the draw the qualified teams were seeded in the respective pots based on their performance in the qualification and the ranking at the EHF EURO 2012.

Pot 1: Montenegro, Norway, Hungary (host), Sweden

Pot 2: Denmark, Germany, France, Spain

Pot 3: Croatia (host), Serbia, Russia, Romania

Pot 4: Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Netherlands  

The ‘foxy lady’ has a name: Foxette

Following the first appearance of the official mascot in spring 2014, a female fox dressed in sports clothes showcasing the national colours of the two hosting countries, the Hungarian and Croatian organising committees launched a naming competition. They invited Europe’s handball fans to submit their suggestions. Hundreds of creative ideas were sent in and at the beginning of this week the official name was chosen: Foxette.

The winner will get two tickets for a match day of the preliminary round and a gift package from the organisers. In the lead-up and during the EHF EURO itself, the mascot will appear at official events and the matches, supporting the participating teams together with the fans.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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