Mannheim and Baia Mare to host this season's EHF FINALS
The premiere editions of the EHF FINALS, the final tournaments of the new EHF European League, will be played in Germany and Romania this season, with Rhein-Neckar Löwen being the hosting club of the men’s event and CS Minaur Baia Mare hosting the women’s edition.
The decision was announced on Thursday by the European Handball Federation and its marketing arm, EHF Marketing GmbH, following a successful bidding process on the clubs’ side and a subsequent confirmation by the EHF Executive Committee.
The EHF FINALS Women are scheduled for 8 and 9 May. CS Minaur Baia Mare, Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN), Nantes Atlantique Handball (FRA) and Siófok KC (HUN) are already qualified. Playing arena is the Sala Polivalenta Lascar Pana in Baia Mare.
The draw for the women's semi-finals takes place this Thursday at the EHF Office in Vienna. It is the first time that the women’s second-tier club competition will be played and decided in a tournament format with four participating teams.
The EHF FINALS Men will be played on 22 and 23 May in the SAP Arena in Mannheim. The first legs of the quarter-finals were played on Tuesday, with the FINALS’ hosting club, Rhein-Neckar Löwen, losing 33:32 to Russian side Chekhovskie medvedi. The hosting agreement for the EHF FINALS Men is valid irrespective of Rhein-Neckar Löwen’s qualification.
The additional three participants will be decided in the matches Füchse Berlin vs Montpellier HB (first leg 29:32), Orlen Wisla Plock vs GOG (27:30) and SC Magdeburg vs IFK Kristianstad (34:28).
The second leg matches are scheduled for 20 April; the draw for the EHF FINALS Men will take place on 27 April in Vienna.
Rhein-Neckar Löwen are the winners of the EHF Cup 2012/13, the first season when the second-tier competition ended with four teams playing a final tournament.
Michael Wiederer, EHF President, said: "We are happy that with Rhein-Neckar Löwen and CS Minaur Baia Mare there are two experienced hosts which will provide an excellent platform to stage the EHF FINALS and to promote the EHF European League in its inaugural season. Following one of the most challenging years in our history, the participating clubs and their players will receive a season climax in a way they fully deserve it."
David Szlezak, Managing Director of EHF Marketing, said: "Romania has been stronghold for women’s handball over the past years. From a sponsors’ and TV market perspective, CS Minaur Baia Mare is a great choice as hosts to elevate the EHF European League Women to the next level in terms of visibility and reach. The very same holds true for the Rhein-Neckar Löwen hosting this season’s EHF FINALS Men in Germany. With three teams in the quarter-finals, there is no doubt that Germany is a key market this season."
Both events will be organised in accordance with the EHF Hygiene Protocol as well as with the respective health regulations in place in Romania and Germany.
Media accreditation for all final events of the 2020/21 club handball season, including the EHF FINAL4s in Budapest and Cologne, will start at the end of April.