Eight remaining places for European teams for final tournament in Serbia
Draw for 2013 World Championship European Play-Offs
The draw for the European Play-Off matches for the 2013 Women's World Championship took place on the fringes of the closing press conference for EHF EURO 2012 in Belgrade on Sunday.
The draw was conducted by Michael Wiederer (EHF Secretary General), Leopold Kalin (Chairman EHF Competitions Commission) and Peter Sichelschmidt (EHF responsible for National Team Competitions).
Serbia as hosts, Norway as defending champions as well as Montenegro and Hungary as the two best ranked teams at EHF EURO 2012 - taking aside Norway and Serbia - have already qualified directly for this event.
Therefore eight Play-Off pairings consisting of the twelve teams ranked fifth to sixteenth and the four teams that won their respective group in the first qualification phase were drawn from two pots.
The fixtures are as follows:
Turkey vs. Denmark
Iceland vs. Czech Republic
FYR Macedonia vs. Spain
Netherlands vs. Russia
Slovakia vs. Romania
Germany vs. Ukraine
Sweden vs. Poland
France vs. Croatia
Vitaliy Krokhin, head coach of the Russian women's national team said: "We met with the Netherlands just before the EURO at the Turchin Cup in Ukraine and we tied with them.
"They have a very good team, well-organised and disciplined. I hope our chances to qualify are high, but we still have to work with our newly built team in the next months."
Gino Strezovski, FYR Macedonia's head coach said: "Spain are very serious team, but not a rival that cannot be beaten.
"In the previous Play-Off match in 2011 (for the 2011 World Championship) we played on an even level with them in both matches, even though they eliminated us.
"This gave us new strength and motivation. We avoided big names like France, Russia, Romania, Germany.
"If we’re complete with Elena Gorgievska and Daniela Noveska this team will be prepared well for these two most important matches.
"I hope that in the next two to three months we will solve a lot of things about the National team and that in June we will be on the right track."
The first leg of the Play-Off matches will be played on 1/2 June 2013, the second leg will be played on 8/9 June 2013.
The winners of the Play-Off matches will qualify for the 2013 Women's World Championship in Serbia from 7 to 22 December 2013.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
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