The EHF EURO Cup
The European Handball Federation is setting a new milestone on the road to the Men's EHF EURO 2020, which will be the biggest to date in the championship's history with 24 teams competing for the title.
Starting the last week of October 2018, the three host nations of EHF EURO 2020, Sweden, Austria and Norway, together with 2018 champions Spain will play the first matches of the newly introduced EHF EURO Cup.
The competition sees the four participating nations facing each other in home and away matches. These matches are always played at the same time as the EHF EURO 2020 Qualifiers and form the participants' - all four are directly qualified to EHF EURO 2020 - very own road to the final tournament in January 2020.
The first two matches are Norway vs Austria and Sweden vs Spain on 24/25 October followed by Spain vs Norway and Austria vs Sweden on 27/28 October. Sweden will play their first match in the 13,000-capacity Malmö Arena, which is also a preliminary and main round venue for EHF EURO 2020.
Austria will play their first home match against Sweden in the newly built Sportpark Graz. The match on 27/28 October will mark the official opening of the 3,000-capacity arena.
Norway will play their first home match in the Stjørdalshallen close to Trondheim. Furthermore, the Norwegian Handball Federation has signed a contract with TV2 Norway to broadcast all matches involving Norway.
Statements on EHF EURO Cup
"The EHF EURO Cup is an important milestone on the road to EHF EURO 2020. In particular for the three hosts Sweden, Austria and Norway, as well as for champions Spain, but also for the EHF. Not only will we see four top-class teams competing against each other and getting ready for the championship; this new competition will also offer a range of new promotion and marketing opportunities for handball."
Martin Hausleitner, EHF Secretary General
"I'm sure that all our players have a dream of playing the final on home soil in Stockholm at EHF EURO 2020. In order to make that happen we have to be well prepared for the tournament. The EHF EURO Cup will help us prepare for the final tournament and I really like the concept. We will have the opportunity to play against world-class opponents in front of big crowds several times in our preparations for EHF EURO 2020. It is a win-win situation for us, Norway, Austria and Spain."
Kristján Andrésson, head coach Sweden men's national team
"The EHF EURO Cup offers us the best possible preparation for the European Championship. Playing against three of the best nations in the world is an enormous sporting challenge that will take us forward in a playful way. As we are directly qualified, it is an additional benefit that we have only top-class opponents in the preparation. We are pleased to be present at the premiere of this competition."
Patrekur Jóhannesson, head coach Austria's men's national team
“It is with great pleasure that we are one of three organisers for EHF EURO 2020 and therefore also one of the first participants in the new EHF EURO Cup. Organising the final tournament means a lot to us and we will use, of course, the EHF EURO and also already the EHF EURO Cup matches to develop new grassroots activities, establish a new generation volunteers and build the platform for new commercial possibilities.”
Erik Langerud, Secretary General Norwegian Handball Federation