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22.10.2019, 17:18
Long road to Egypt 2021 begins with Mediterranean derby
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PREVIEW: The road to the Men’s World Championship 2021 begins this week with four matches and one tournament in qualification phase 1 and there is little room for error as only the winners of each group progress
 

Long road to Egypt 2021 begins with Mediterranean derby

The journey to Egypt 2021 starts in Nicosia on Wednesday with close neighbours Cyprus and Greece facing off in qualification phase 1 of the IHF Men’s World Championship 2021, the first one with 32 teams.

30 minutes after the throw-off in Cyprus, Israel take on Finland in Tel Aviv.

All four teams play in group 2 of the qualification, the only group which will not be decided in a tournament, but with home and away matches. The second round of matches features Finland vs Cyprus and Greece vs Israel on Sunday.

We will already know the first of four group winners on Sunday as group 4 takes place in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. Hosts Turkey, Belgium and Estonia fight for one spot in the next qualification stage from Friday to Sunday.

The two remaining tournaments, group 1 with Lithuania, Slovakia Faroe Islands and hosts Luxembourg and group 3 with hosts Italy, Romania, Kosovo and Georgia, will be staged in January, parallel to the first weekend of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020. Only the four group winners proceed to the next round.

The whole qualification process for Egypt 2021 will be different from previous campaigns. Denmark as defending World Champions are already qualified and the three best-ranked teams of EHF EURO 2020 will also book a direct ticket.

Nine more spots are reserved for European teams. The four group winners advance to an intermediate stage alongside the EHF EURO 2020 teams which do not take part in the 2020 Olympics qualification tournaments – a two-legged play-off on 15/16 and 18/19 April.

The 10 winners of those duels and the eight teams from the Olympic qualification tournaments will lock horns in a final play-off in June 2020.

 


TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor
 
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