Champions Germany face Slovenia, Portugal and Switzerland en route to EHF EURO 2018

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Champions Germany face Slovenia, Portugal and Switzerland en route to EHF EURO 2018

EHF EURO 2016 winners Germany play Slovenia, Portugal, Switzerland on their way to a potential title defence in two years, as the way to the Men's EHF EURO 2018 was determined for 28 teams at the qualification draw in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Thursday.

"It is a very tough group, maybe the toughest one. We will have to do our best to qualify. We qualified for the Olympics and this is a very big thing for Slovenia. Now we want to continue this success," said Slovenian player Mario Sostaric after his country was drawn to play in Group 5.

EHF EURO record winners Sweden have been drawn to Group 6 with Russia, Montenegro and Slovakia, while current world and Olympic champions France face Norway, Lithuania and Belgium.

The overview for all seven groups looks as follows

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6 Group 7
Denmark Poland Spain Iceland Germany Sweden France
Hungary Belarus Austria FYR Macedonia Slovenia Russia Norway
Netherlands Serbia Bosnia-Herzegovina Czech Republic Portugal Montenegro Lithuania
Latvia Romania Finland Ukraine Switzerland Slovakia Belgium

15 teams will eventually qualify for the Men's EHF EURO 2018. Hosts Croatia are the only team that is directly qualified.

"I think that it is an advantage that we don’t have to play the qualification for the EURO 2018 as the handball calendar is already very full and we can use this time to recover," said Croatian international Luka Stepancic after the draw. "I am really looking forward to playing in front of my family and friends."

The top two teams from each group as well as the best third ranked team overall will make their way to the final tournament. To determine the best third ranked team only the matches played against the teams ranked first and second will be taken into account.

The qualification rounds will be played on the following dates

Rounds 1 & 2  2 to 6 November 2016
Rounds 3 & 4 3 to 7 May 2017
Rounds 5 & 6 14 to 18 June 2017

The final tournament takes place from 12 to 28 January 2018. The four host cities are Croatia's capital Zagreb, Varaždin, Poreč and Split. Main round matches will takes place in Zagreb and Split; the final weekend will be played in Zagreb.

Mascot and website launch

Coinciding with the draw the official mascot of the competition as well as the official website for the Men's EHF EURO 2018,, was launched. On handball fans can find all relevant information regarding the Men's EHF EURO 2018.

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