All you need to know about the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers draw
All spotlights in European handball will shine on the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 on Tuesday 16 June (17:00 CEST), 19 months before the event takes place in Hungary and Slovakia.
In Vienna, the draw for the qualifiers will be conducted as 32 nations will find out which three opponents they are going to meet on their road to the finals tournament.
Divided into eight four-team groups, they will battle for 20 coveted EHF EURO 2022 berths when the last qualification phase (following the two earlier stages) gets underway in November 2020.
After the successful inaugural 24-team EHF EURO last January, the next edition, taking place from 13-30 January 2022, will again contain 24 participants.
Hungary and Slovakia as the co-hosts, and Spain (champions) and Croatia (runners-up) as the EHF EURO 2020 finalists, are qualified directly for the finals tournament. Those four teams will play in the EHF EURO Cup when other nations play their qualifiers.
Here is all you need to know about the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers draw:
Getting 32 teams into eight groups: how does this work?
Firstly, the 32 teams have been seeded in four pots, according to the current EHF Men’s National Teams ranking:
Pot 1: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Iceland
Pot 2: Austria, Belarus, Portugal, North Macedonia, Serbia, Russia, Montenegro, Netherlands
Pot 3: Switzerland, Lithuania, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Latvia, Poland, Belgium
Pot 4: Finland, Italy, Turkey, Israel, Estonia, Greece, Kosovo, Faroe Islands
On Tuesday, the draw will be conducted in the following order:
Step 1: eight teams from pot 3 are drawn to row 3
Step 2: eight teams from pot 2 are drawn to row 2
Step 3: eight teams from pot 1 are drawn to row 1
Step 4: Kosovo are drawn to row 4, avoiding the group with Serbia
Step 5: seven remaining teams from pot 4 are drawn to row 4
Which 20 teams will earn a ticket for the EHF EURO 2022?
The winners and runners-up of all eight groups as well as the four best third-place teams will earn a spot at the finals tournament. To determine which four third-place teams are ‘the best’, an overall ranking including all eight third-placed teams will be established once the qualifiers have been completed.
This ranking will take into account only the results of the four matches against the two teams that finished first and second in the respective group; the results of the two matches against the team that finished last in that group will not be considered.
When exactly is the draw? Where can I follow it?
The draw begins on Tuesday 16 June at 17:00 CEST and will be streamed live on the EHF EURO Facebook page as well as the EHF EURO YouTube channel. The draw will be presented by Markus Floth, and conducted by EHF President Michael Wiederer and EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner.
While the draw event has to take place without audience amid the current COVID-19 measures, several special guests will make a video appearance, including Mate Kocsis, President of the Hungarian Handball Federation; Jaroslav Holesa, President of the Slovakian Handball Federation; and players like Kentin Mahé, Kent Robin Tønnesen and Gasper Marguc.
What else is the EHF offering to cover the draw?
The draw can also be followed live on the EHF EURO Twitter account. After the completion of the draw, make sure to head over to the EHF EURO Instagram account where top players from various nations will give their first reactions in live interviews with ehfTV.com commentator Chris O’Reilly. And finally, visit the EHF EURO official website for a complete draw review.
So much for Tuesday's draw but when do the qualifiers actually start?
The first round of the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers will be played in the first week of November 2020. The basic match schedule is as follows:
Round 1: Wednesday 4 - Thursday 5 November 2020
Round 2: Saturday 7 - Sunday 8 November 2020
Round 3: Wednesday 10 - Thursday 11 March 2021*
Round 4: Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 March 2021*
Round 5: Wednesday 28 - Thursday 29 April 2021
Round 6: Sunday 2 May 2021 (18:00 CEST)
* France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden, who are participating in the Olympic Games Qualification Tournaments on 12/14 March 2021, will play their rounds 3 and 4 of the EHF EURO 2022 qualifiers on 6/7 and 9/10 January 2021.