NEWS: European Handball Federation extends schedule for Men’s EHF EURO 2020 to 18 days; final weekend in Stockholm football arena to be played over three days
New schedule announced for Men's EHF EURO 2020
The European Handball Federation has extended the schedule of the Men’s EHF EURO 2020 from 17 to 18 days, with the tournament now set to start already on 9 January. In a historic first, the EHF has also confirmed that the matches for third and fifth places will be played on 25 January, the final weekend's Saturday.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2020, the first to be played with 24 teams, in Sweden, Austria and Norway will take place from 9 to 26 January 2020. The championship had originally been scheduled to start on 10 January 2020.
Furthermore, the EHF Executive Committee has confirmed that for the first time in EHF EURO history, the match for third place and the final will be played separately from each other, with the bronze medal match to be played on Saturday, 25 January 2020, and Sunday, 26 January, being exclusively reserved for the final. Additionally, in the new schedule, the 5/6 placement match will be moved from Friday, 24 January ahead of the semi-finals, to Saturday, 25 January, when it will take place ahead of the match for third place.
The heart of the final weekend will be Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena, a 20,000+ capacity stadium. EHF EURO 2020 marks the first time that the championship’s final weekend is played in a football stadium.
The impact of the new playing schedule is not limited to the final weekend though. With the first matches being played on 9 January and a subsequent re-scheduling of the preliminary round, there are no more parallel matches in two venues in one nation on the same day. The new schedule makes it possible that the fans can watch all matches within each host country in the playing halls.
For the teams with the longest travel distances following the preliminary round, a rest day in addition to their travel day has been added.
“We will be putting a huge emphasis on the event atmosphere at the final weekend in Stockholm. Our aim is to achieve that ‘when the matches are played, Europe comes to a halt’. We are looking into a high-level entertainment concept, cooperation with local hospitality facilities and much more. In particular on the Saturday, we want to bring people to the arena who haven’t been so close to handball yet.”
Krister Bergström, CEO Handbolls-EM 2020 AB, Sweden
“We are really pleased with the new playing schedule. The fact that there are no more parallel matches in one nation is a huge thing for all fans. Furthermore it leads to the advantage that after the preliminary round the groups with the longest travel distances have an additional rest day in addition to their travel day.”
Bernd Rabenseifner, Secretary General Austrian Handball Federation
“The new schedule brings us one step closer to our mutual aim to provide the best possible conditions for the participating teams as well as for all handball fans who will come to cheer for them. With the ‘New Nidarohallen’ in Trondheim, a new venue seating 8,000 people will be built in time for EHF EURO 2020, and we are looking forward to welcoming the fans in January 2020.”
Kia Otnes, Project Manager Men's EHF EURO 2020 in Norway
About Men's EHF EURO 2020
The Men’s EHF EURO 2020 will be played from 9 to 26 January 2020. It is the first to be played with 24 teams, the first to be hosted by three nations and the first at which the final weekend is played over three days. Sweden will organise two preliminary and one main round group plus the final weekend. Venues chosen are Gothenburg’s Scandinavium, the Malmö Arena and the Tele 2 Arena in Stockholm (final weekend only), a 20,000+ capacity stadium. Austria will host two preliminary round groups and one main round group in the Wiener Stadthalle and the Stadthalle Graz. The 'New Nidarohallen' in Trondheim, which is currently under construction and will seat 8,000 people, is the venue for the two preliminary round groups played in Norway.
The Men’s EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers start on 24 October with 32 teams, divided into eight groups of four, in action. After six rounds 20 will eventually qualify for Men’s EHF EURO 2020 and join hosts Sweden, Austria and Norway as well EHF EURO 2018 champions, Spain, who are already qualified. More info on www.ehf-euro.com.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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