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12.01.2015, 14:36
Host cities get ready for Men’s EHF EURO 2016
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NEWS REPORT: Katowice and the Spodek Arena impress fans and teams alike at the Christmas Cup, as the Polish Handball Federation and the city of Krakow sign an official host city agreement
 

Host cities get ready for Men’s EHF EURO 2016

It is still one year to go until the Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Poland (15 to 31 January) throws off, but it is already these days that the four chosen host cities make their mark on the European handball map.

Katowice and its 10,000 capacity Spodek Arena mastered it first test ahead of the EHF EURO next year when they hosted the Christmas Cup with the teams from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia from 28 to 30 December 2014.

The tournament proved to be a good test for organisers and the city as they are preparing for the European handball showdown next year.

Witness to this was Marcin Krupa, the mayor of Katowice, who also handed the tournament’s trophy to team captain Bartosz Jurecki, after Poland had finished the tournament ranked first with the perfect record of three wins from three matches.

"It is an amazing feeling to play in front of a Polish audience. The fans in Katowice were wonderful and gave us a lot of power in all matches," said Jurecki.

The Christmas Cup was also a great opportunity for all four host cities – apart from Katowice that is Gdansk, Wroclaw and Krakow – as well as the host region Malopolska to promote themselves and the tournament.

Furthermore the EHF EURO 2016 mascot, a golden hand, was presented for the first time to the Polish fans, after it had been revealed one week earlier in Budapest on the final weekend of the Women’s EHF EURO 2014.

Scores of fans already came up with their suggestions for a name, but they will have to wait until next month when an official naming competition will be launched.

Official agreement with host city Krakow signed

Already earlier last year the Polish Handball Federation and the city of Krakow signed an official host city agreement.

At the meeting it was announced that Poland will play their preliminary round in the impressive 15,000 capacity Krakow Arena.

"The championship will be hosted in four Polish cities, but Krakow is the centre. The tournament starts and ends here as also the semi-finals and the finals will be played in the Krakow Arena.

"Great emotions are expected, especially because of the Polish team that will play their games in our area," said the city’s mayor Jacek Majchrowski. 

"The European Championship is the greatest tournament in handball. I am sure that fans will not let us down and we are expecting a lot of them in Poland.

"It is great promotion for the city, which in January 2016 will be the capital of not only European but worldwide handball," said Andrzej Krasnicki, the President of the Polish Handball Federation.


TEXT: ZPRP / EHF / ts
 
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