The pairings for the World Championship 2015 Play-offs in June next year were drawn in Budapest on Sunday
Tough games ahead for Germany, Slovakia and Serbia
The draw for the World Championship 2015 Play-offs was conducted just ahead of the Women's EHF EURO 2014 Final.
18 teams are vying for nine places that are available to European teams at the championship in December 2015 in Denmark.
Denmark as hosts and the European champions, either Norway and Spain, are directly qualified for the 24-nation tournament.
And it became Slovakia, who after they had qualified for an EHF EURO event for the first time in 20 years, received arguably the toughest as they will meet either Spain or Norway.
Germany and Sweden were also drawn against tough opponents as the former face Russia, the team they already played against in the EHF EURO 2014 Qualification, and the latter face Croatia.
"It could not have been more difficult for us, this is terrible," said Germany's record international Grit Jurack who attended the draw.
"Definitely Croatia was not among those teams we had hoped to play against. But we are lucky to play the second leg at home. We have to do everything to qualify for the World Championship, we are ready for this challenge," said Stefan Lövgren, the manager for Sweden's national teams.
"If you are in Pot 2, you cannot expect to get easy matches. It was clear that we will get a tough opponent," said Sandi Sola, President of the Croatian Handball Federation. "Sweden is a big challenge for us, but in two matches there is much room to show our qualities."
The draw also set up interesting duels of neighbouring countries with Ukraine facing Poland and Austria playing Hungary.
Ivan Vetesi, President of the Hungarian Handball Federation, said: "We are happy with this draw, Austria is an ideal opponent as it is just a short trip.
"Our coach Andras Nemeth was the Hypo (Niederösterreich) coach before, so he knows everything about Austria. We have a brilliant chance to make it to Denmark."
"We are satisfied with this draw. In former times Ukraine had a great team, but at the moment I expect our team to be stronger," said Marek Goralczyk, the Secretary General of the Polish Handball Federation.
The play-off matches will take place on 6/7 and 13/14 June 2015. The Women's World Championship 2015 takes place in Denmark from 5 to 20 December next year.
Overview Women's World Championship 2015 Play-offs
France vs. Slovenia
TEXT: EHF / ts
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