The countdown is running: The Women’s EHF EURO 2020 is approaching fast and in less than six months the 16 strongest national teams of Europe gather in Norway and Denmark for the 3-20 December championship.
An important step towards the final tournament will be taken on Thursday (18 June) at 11:00 CEST, when the four groups for the preliminary round will be drawn in Vienna (draw procedure).
The 16 participants will not only learn whom they are going to play, but also where, as the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 will start in Herning (group A), Fredrikshavn (B) and Trondheim (C and D).
The main round will be contested in Stavanger and Herning, followed by the finals weekend taking place in Oslo (match schedule).
Here is all you need to know about the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 final tournament draw:
Who are the 16 participating teams, and who can they potentially meet in the preliminary round?
The 16 teams for the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 were confirmed in April: Norway and Denmark as the two co-hosts and 14 teams qualified from the Women’s EHF EURO 2018.
Based on their ranking at the Women’s EHF EURO 2018, the 16 teams have been seeded into four pots:
Pot 1: France, Russia, Netherlands, Romania
Pot 2: Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Denmark
Pot 3: Montenegro, Germany, Serbia, Spain
Pot 4: Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia
The four preliminary round groups all consist of one team from each of the four pots.
How will the 16 teams be drawn to the four groups?
The two organisers and two more teams have already been assigned to a specific group: Co-hosts Denmark will play in group A, Sweden in B, Netherlands in C, and co-hosts Norway in D.
Thursday’s draw will follow those four steps:
Step 1: one team from pot 2 is placed in row 2
Step 2: three teams from pot 1 are drawn to row 1
Step 3: four teams from pot 4 are drawn to row 4
Step 4: four teams from pot 3 are drawn to row 3
What does the draw ceremony look like?
The ceremony in Vienna will be presented by Markus Floth, while EHF President Michael Wiederer and EHF Secretary General Martin Hausleitner will conduct the draw.
The draw ceremony will be staged without audience due to the COVID-19 measures still in place, but there will be video messages from both presidents of the organising federations, Per Bertelsen (Denmark) and Käre Geir Lio (Norway), as well as players including Lotte Grigel, Linn Blohm, Lois Abbingh and Amanda Kurtovic.
How can you watch the draw on Thursday and where do you get real-time updates?
The draw will also be covered live on the EHF EURO Twitter account. Once the draw is completed, Chris O’Reilly will ask players from various teams for their first reaction in live interviews on the EHF EURO Instagram account. Finally, an extensive draw review will be published on the Women’s EHF EURO 2020 official website afterwards.