222 balls to be opened on Tuesday
In total 203 clubs (101 women and 102 men) from 41 countries will participate in the upcoming season of the five European Cups – the Men's EHF Cup, Men's Challenge Cup, Women's EHF Cup, Women's Challenge Cup and Women's Cup Winners' Cup, which is approaching its last edition in history before it merges with the EHF Cup.
The first draw of the season in these five competitions will take place on Tuesday 21 July at 11:00 hrs at the EHF Office in Vienna. All five draws will be completely open with teams from Pot 1 drawn against teams from Pot 2. There will be no country protection as exactly 222 drawing balls will be pulled out from the pots and opened during the draw.
Live ticker and live tweets
Due to unexpected technical problems the planned live streaming on ehfTV YouTube channel will not take place, but an extensive coverage of the event will still be on offer.
The live ticker will be available on the official website www.eurohandball.com, while the tweets will be posted real-time at the official twitter account @EHFMedia.
Women's Challenge Cup
A new team will claim the winners' trophy in the Women's Challenge Cup this season as the defending champions Union Mios Biganos Begles from France decided to take a chance in the EHF Cup this time around and no other former winners are on the starting grid of 25 teams.
There will be no Round 1 and 2 and only 18 teams will play Round 3 with further seven sides seeded directly for the Last 16.
Men's Challenge Cup
Also in the Men's Challenge Cup the first playing round will be Round 2. While the reigning trophy holders HC Odorhei from Romania are seeded for Round 3, their opponents from the last season's final ABC/Minho from Portugal start already in Round 2.
Cup Winners' Cup
One of the most heralded clubs of the continent Viborg HK will certainly vie for the last trophy in the Women's Cup Winners' Cup history.
However, the 2014 champions and the three-time EHF Champions League winners have to be aware that more clubs are entering the farewell edition with similar ambitions.
The list of favourites to succeed FC Midtjylland on the throne includes another Danish outfit Team Tvis Holstebro, Metz Handball and Issy Paris Hand from France, Lada and Zvezda Zvenigorod from Russia or one of the teams who will join the Cup Winners's Cup after the qualification and the group matches of the EHF Champions League.
Women's EHF Cup
As Holstebro are playing in the Cup Winners' Cup in the 2015/16 season there will be a vaccant throne in the EHF Cup.
In total there are 15 national champions and taking part in Round 2 and Round 3 and three former winners (1998 Dunaujvarosi KKA, 2008 Dinamo-Sinara, 2010 Randers HK) will also be back in action.
In last nine years only one club (Itxako Navarra) could break the combined Russian-Danish hegemony in the EHF Cup as only teams from these two countries were taking trophies in turns.
Men's EHF Cup
The reformed Men's EHF Cup is about to enter already its fourth season following a merge with the Cup Winners' Cup. The defending winners Füchse Berlin and 13 other teams are seeded directly for Round 3.
In Round 1 and 2 not less than ten national champions will take part with three more joining this competition in Round 3 following the VELUX EHF Champions League qualification.
TEXT: EHF / br