What’s Next for Croatia? 2023 World Handball Championship Qualifiers

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:


The Croatia men’s handball team ended their performance in the last round of the EHF Euro 2022 main round with a draw against the Netherlands.

After last year’s World Championship in Egypt and missing out on the Olympics, this is another handball competition to forget. The Cowboys finished in eighth place.

While the coronavirus disrupted coach Hrvoje Horvat’s plans, we were fortunate to witness new handball talent, with players like Tin Ličin, who was not originally part of the team. 

So, what’s next? 

There will be a new World Championship organized jointly by Sweden and Poland in a year. These two national teams, as well as the current champion Denmark, have a spot already secured. Europe will add at least 12 more national teams, three of which will qualify directly as the best at the current Euros, while nine national teams will play in the qualifiers.

As Denmark and Sweden reached the semifinals, the European Championship fifth-place leads directly to the World Championship. Spain also won a spot because they reached the semifinals.

Croatia will thus have to qualify for the World Championship, for which a draw will be held already on Saturday. After that, they will be included in the second round, which will be played in two matches between April 11 and 17 this year. Their opponents will be some of the national teams that will play the first round between March 14 and 20.

Slovenia, Portugal, North Macedonia, Slovakia, BiH, and other possible opponents are not harmless rivals, so Croatia hopes for a good draw. 

Who coach Horvat will choose to join the national team then remains to be seen.

First round:

Seeded teams: Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine

Unseeded: Belgium, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Israel, Greece, Italy, Romania, Switzerland

Second round:

Seeded: Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Russia, Montenegro, Netherlands

Unseeded: nine first-round winners

Source: Gol.hr

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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