Initial group phase teams for inaugural EHF European League season confirmed
The initial teams for the group phase in the EHF European League premiere season have been confirmed as the European Handball Federation revealed the 12 top-seeded teams for the men’s and the four teams for the women’s competition on Monday.
While 24 teams will play in the men’s group phase following two qualification rounds, the women’s version will also consist of two qualification rounds preceding a group phase with 16 teams. Both competitions will culminate in the EHF European League Finals played in May 2021.
The EHF European League has transformed from the former EHF Cup as a new-look competition system has been launched at the start of the 2020/21 season.
Many great names both in group phase and qualification
There will be no lack of top pedigree names of European club handball in the inaugural season as in each gender three former EHF Champions League winners will enter the EHF European League alongside many former champions of continental club competitions.
In the men’s competition with 51 participants, 2002 EHF Champions League winners SC Magdeburg lead the list of the teams seeded directly for the group phase. These teams come from 12 different countries, guaranteeing a wide-spread interest for the competition.
A combined of 10 European trophies have been won by the four teams granted a place in the group phase of the EHF European League Women with 34 teams entering the competition in total.
EHF European League Men – teams directly seeded for the group phase:
ABANCA Ademar Leon (ESP)
USAM Nimes Gard (FRA)
SC Magdeburg (GER)
Grundfos Tatabanya KC (HUN)
HC Eurofarm Pelister (MKD)
Orlen Wisla Plock (POL)
Dinamo Bucuresti (ROU)
Chekhovskie medvedi (RUS)
Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI)
Tatran Presov (SVK)
Alingsas HK (SWE)
Besiktas Aygaz (TUR)
EHF European League Women – teams directly seeded for the group phase:
Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN)
Siofok KC (HUN)
CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU)
Handball Club Lada (RUS)
Later this week the EHF will announce the pots for the first qualification round draw, which will take place on Tuesday 28 July in Vienna.
The first qualification round for the EHF European League Men starts on 29/30 August, while the opening qualification round for the EHF European League Women throws off on 10/11 October.
Boarding complete also for EHF European Cups
The teams for the new EHF European Cups - the former Challenge Cups - have also been announced. The third-tier competition will stick to a knock-out playing system all the way to the two-legged final.
In the EHF European Cup Men 51 teams have been registered, including 2019 Challenge Cup winners CSM Bucuresti. In the EHF European Cup Women 41 teams will take part, including HC Lokomotiva Zagreb, Rocasa Gran Canaria and HC Naisa Nis, all three former Challenge Cup trophy holders.
The opening playing round for the women’s competition is scheduled for 10/11 October, whereas the action starts one week later for the men.