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15.06.2018, 09:42
Relaying handball to Europe and the world
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EHF CONGRESS 2018: A triple bid for the Men's EHF EURO 2022 has been put forward by Belgium, France and Spain with a vision of the European handball family being stronger when it is united
 

Relaying handball to Europe and the world

With eight host cities across three countries, featuring a combined population of over 120 million people, the triple-country bid from Belgium, France and Spain for the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 certainly is evidence of acting out the bidding nations’ vision of the European handball family being “stronger when it is united”.

It also enforces their belief that the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Belgium, France and Spain will be a “unique and historical collaboration between two leading handball nations used to organising international events and one emergent country in our sport.”



The big news, ahead of the bid announcement in Glasgow at the EHF Congress, is that Spain’s capital Madrid has replaced Leon as a host city in the preliminary round.

The Wizink Center with 12,500 seats in Madrid (ESP) is joined in the preliminary round by the 5,000-capacity Lotto Arena in Antwerp (BEL), 8,276-capacity Sud de France Arena in Montpellier (FRA), up to 8,000-capacity Rhenus Sport venue in Strasbourg (FRA), 5,400-capacity Municipal Sports Palace in Santander (ESP) and Hall XXL in Nantes (FRA), which can hold just over 10,000 fans.

Nantes will continue to host matches in the main round and is joined by the 8,500-capacity Bilbao Palacio des Deportes (ESP). French capital Paris will host the final phase at the 15,800-capacity AccorHotels Arena, venue of the recent 2017 IHF Men’s World Championship final.

Three is a number that features prominently throughout the bid with three key values highlighted: European solidarity – to help handball grow everywhere; excellence - to lead handball to new heights; and diversity – to turn each country’s features into strengths.

From Belgium in the north, down through bordering France, which in-turn, has a border with Spain, the bid literally covers a large swathe of Europe, translating into a real and genuine solidarity between the nations. People involved in the competition are “old friends, far beyond handball courts”, according to the bid, and the organisation of the potential Men’s EHF EURO 2022 will be “the embodiment of this solidarity”.

All three hosts have experience of the very top-level sports with Antwerp (BEL) hosting the UEFA Euro and CEV European Championships and the buzz around the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games sure to be in evidence two years before, while Spain itself is no stranger to hosting different types of handball events, with the 2021 IHF Women’s World Championship being concluded just a matter of weeks before the proposed Men’s EHF EURO in 2022.

With this merger of a variety of strengths and expertise, the notion of “RELAY” has been developed during the building process of the bid. RELAY is at the heart of the bid and relates to the desire to give, spread, share and transmit to everyone and anyone.

All three parties promise an “outstanding competition in a hospitable, safe and entertaining atmosphere for both the athletes and the spectators”, and along with the knowledge that France and Spain have in hosting top-level handball events, they aim to ‘RELAY’ this expertise to Belgium, “paving the way to other smaller nations willing to develop the sport in their countries”.

This transfer of knowledge will not stop after the final has been played as the bid is keen to emphasise their “strong ambition to relay to the EHF and other European federations their achievements and methods, contributing to the continuous improvement of best practices.”

Bid Links

EHF EURO Beyond 2020 website
EHF EURO Beyond 2020 official bid presentation
Official bid website


TEXT: Andrew McSteen//jjr
 
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