The Croatia handball team will play the first part of the 2022 European Championship in Group C, hosted by Szeged, against the national teams of Serbia, France, and Ukraine, the draw revealed in Budapest on Thursday.
The hosts of the handball Euro, which is scheduled for January 13-30 next year, are Hungary and Slovakia. Twenty-four national teams will compete for medals, divided into six groups, played in Szeged, Debrecen, Budapest, Bratislava, and Košice.
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The Pick Arena in Szeged, where Croatia will play their first-round matches, has a capacity of 8,143 spectators, and the Budapest Arena in the Hungarian capital, where second-round matches and the final part of the tournament will be played, can accommodate 20,000 spectators.
The Croatia national team will play the first game in the group on January 13 against France. Two days later, Croatia will meet Serbia. The last game of the first round will be played on January 17 against Ukraine.
The two best national teams from each of the six groups in the first round will advance to the second round, in which the teams from A, B, and C groups will merge into one group, and the other from D, E, and F. The second-round matches will be played in Budapest and Bratislava.
The first two national teams from each group will advance to the semifinals, while the third-placed teams will play a match for fifth place.
The semifinals are scheduled for January 28, and the final and third-place match on January 30.
“We have an exciting group ahead of us. As always, what we repeat is that we hope to be healthy and ready. We have seen many times that there is no weak opponent at the European Championship, and every game will be interesting and difficult. Of course, we have to think only of ourselves, we have to prepare well, and we must not be relaxed at any point. As always, we will go from game to game and do our best,” said captain Domagoj Duvnjak.
“Of course, I watched the draw. For me, it’s an excellent group. There is no need to waste words on France because we all know how strong they are. Serbia has great players on paper, and with the new coach, we saw in the qualifications that they have become a serious team. Ukraine only seems the easiest at first glance, but let’s not forget that Motor, from which most players come, is practically a permanent participant in the Champions League. I can’t wait for the championship to start, and I hope with fans!” added Marin Šipić.
2022 European Championship groups:
Group A (Debrecen): Slovenia, Denmark, Sj. Macedonia, Montenegro
Group B (Budapest): Portugal, Hungary, Iceland, Netherlands
Group C (Szeged): CROATIA, Serbia, France, Ukraine
Group D (Bratislava): Germany, Austria, Belarus, Poland
Group E (Bratislava): Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Group F (Košice): Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Lithuania
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