The draw took place in two phases, as there are two qualifying rounds. Thus, the first to be drawn was the national teams that have already passed the first round of qualifications by groups, i.e., those ranked from 15th to 24th place at this European Championship, reports HRS.
UKRAINE – FINLAND
ITALY – SLOVENIA
PORTUGAL – SWITZERLAND
AUSTRIA – ESTONIA
GREECE – BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
NORTHERN MACEDONIA – ROMANIA
ISRAEL – LITHUANIA
SLOVAKIA – BELGIUM
FARO ISLANDS – BELARUS
The first matches will be played from March 16 to 17, and the return matches on March 19 to 20, 2022. The first-named national teams are the hosts in the first matches.
The second round of qualifications was then drawn. Russia and Ukraine could not face each other. Therefore, Russia was drawn first and will play against the winner of Slovakia – Belgium. The Croatia men’s national handball team will thus play against the winner between Ukraine and Finland in the 2023 World Handball Championship qualifications, which is being played in Sweden and Poland next year.
RUSSIA – WINNER SLOVAKIA / BELGIUM
WINNER UKRAINE / FINLAND – CROATIA
WINNER GREECE / BiH – MONTENEGRO
WINNER PORTUGAL / SWITZERLAND – NETHERLANDS
WINNER ITALY / SLOVENIA – SERBIA
GERMANY – WINNER OF THE PHARE ISLANDS / BELARUS
CZECH REPUBLIC – WINNER SJ. MACEDONIA / ROMANIA
WINNER AUSTRIA / ESTONIA – ICELAND
WINNER ISRAEL / LITHUANIA – HUNGARY
The Croatia handball team is participating in the second round of qualifications, played in two games between April 11 and 17 this year. The return match is played in Croatia.
Six European national teams have already won their place at the World Championships. These are hosts Sweden and Poland, Denmark as world champions, and France, Spain, and Norway.
“We can be happy with the draw. Ukraine is a slight favorite in the match against Finland. We saw them at this European Championship. They showed several young, very talented players. They will certainly include three to four of the best who were not at the Euros. Most have experience playing in the Champions League. Finland is somehow the weakest of the Scandinavian countries, but it is certainly not to be underestimated. But if Croatia is right, and we have no reason to doubt it, we should move on without major problems. Especially before we play the return match at home,” said coach Hrvoje Horvat.
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