Wiederer: "2022 will be the biggest celebration of handball"
As the curtain has come down on the EHF FINAL4 Men 2021 and Barça lifted the most coveted trophy in European club handball, the European Handball Federation is already looking ahead to the event’s 2022 edition.
"The return of spectators to club handball’s biggest stage has been an important step forward," EHF President Michael Wiederer said.
"We are confident that the EHF FINAL4 2022 will be played in front of full stands again and if we have fans on site, I promise that this will be the biggest celebration of handball ever."
The EHF FINAL4 Men 2022 is scheduled to be played on 18 and 19 June 2022 in Cologne’s LANXESS arena.
The 2021 event was eventually attended by 1,000 fans on both days after the 7-day incidence rate in Cologne had dropped significantly, enabling the return of at least a limited number of spectators.
"Seeing fans on the stands again and hearing them cheer for their team has been one of the most important moments this weekend," Wiederer said.
"In terms of what happened on court, Cologne lived up to its expectations – in particular in the semi-finals. There are no favourites, and all what counts are the four matches at LANXESS arena. This has really become one of the event’s unique selling points."
For Barça it was the ninth time they stood at the top of the podium since the introduction of the EHF Champions League in the 1993/94 season, three of these nine titles came at the EHF FINAL4 – in 2011, 2015 and 2021.
While Barça are still celebrating their title, the line-up of the 2021/22 season is taking shape.
Over the next two weeks, the European Handball Federation will confirm the 10 teams that have a fixed place in the EHF Champions League as well as those clubs for which an upgrade has been requested.
Following the evaluation of the upgrade requests, the final 16 teams will be named and the group phase draw will take place on 2 July.