Eight months before the start of the European Handball Championship in Germany, the DHB selection will receive certainty about their preliminary round opponents in the group draw on Wednesday in Düsseldorf.
The German Press Agency answers the most important questions about the final round from January 10th to 28th, 2024 and the draw.
In which cities will the tournament be held?
Düsseldorf is the scene of the opening game with the German team. The preliminary round matches in the six groups, each with four teams, will take place in Berlin, Mannheim and Munich. The main round games will take place in Hamburg and Cologne, where the medals will also be awarded on the final weekend.
Who is in the finals?
24 teams are qualified. For the draw, the European Handball Federation divided the participants into four pots. Pot 1 contains world champion Denmark, European champion Sweden, World Cup runner-up France, World Cup third place Spain, Norway and Iceland. Germany is in pot 2 with Slovenia, Hungary, Portugal, Austria and the Netherlands. Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland, the Czech Republic, Serbia and North Macedonia are drawn from pot 3. Pot 4 includes Switzerland, Romania, Montenegro and the three newcomers to the European Championship, Greece, Georgia and the Faroe Islands.
How is the draw going?
One team from each of the four pots will be drawn into each of the six groups. Six teams are set as the group head. Hosts Germany in Group A, Croatia (B), Iceland (C), Norway (D), Sweden (E) and Denmark (F). It is already clear that the DHB selection from pot 1 can only get record world champion France or two-time European champion Spain. The opening opponent of the team of national coach Alfred Gislason comes from pot 4. Gislason is relaxed about the draw: "There are no ideal opponents."
Where does the German team play their tournament games?
After the opening game in Düsseldorf, the DHB selection goes to Berlin, where the remaining two preliminary round games are played. If you progress, Cologne is the scene of the German main round games. The semi-finals and finals will also take place in the cathedral city.
Are there already tickets for the European Championship games?
In the first sales phase, plenty of tickets have already been sold. 40,000 tickets have already been sold for the opening game alone in the Düsseldorf soccer arena, which can seat around 50,000 spectators. No tickets are currently being offered for this game because a certain contingent has to be held back for the opponent who has not yet been determined. The German Handball Federation is hoping for a world record number of spectators on January 10 next year, which currently stands at 44,189 fans.
There is also great demand for the other preliminary round locations. "More than 50 percent of the tickets have already been sold for the other German preliminary round games in Berlin, and more than 1,000 tickets for each of the other groups," reported DHB CEO Mark Schober recently. The next sales phase is to start a few days after the EM draw.
Where can you buy tickets?
There are two ways to get tickets for the European Championship games. On the one hand there is the possibility of purchasing in the online shop or at the local advance booking offices of the ticket provider CTS Eventim, on the other hand on the website of the European federation EHF. Different types of day tickets to tickets for all games at one location are offered.