In the qualifications for the 2020 European Handball Championships, the first to host 24 teams, Montenegro players have a rather unpleasant task, being placed in a group with Denmark, Ukraine and Faroe Islands.
A place at the Championship being held in Sweden, Austria and Norway, besides the hosts, is also booked for Spain as the current champion, with the other 20 selections securing it through qualifications – two top teams from eight groups and four of the best third-placed.
It is clear the current Olympic champion Denmark will be first in the group and Montenegro will duel for second place with Ukraine. The former USSR team has not played large competitions since 2010, when it was last at the European Championship in Austria.
They almost made it to the previous EC in Croatia, but in the last round of group 4 they lost to Iceland in Reykjavik with 34:26 and fell to 4th place with five points. The remaining three teams from that group went on to Croatia.
Faroe Islands are, of course, a complete outsider. Only three times has the selection from the archipelago between Norway and Iceland registered for EC qualifications (2002, 2004 and 2010) and in 22 games won only one point.
First and second round games will be played on 24 and 28 October of this year, the third and fourth round on 3 and 4 April of 2019 and the fifth and sixth round on 12 and 16 June. The first Championship of the Old Continent with 24 selections will take place from 10 to 26 January of 2020, while the host of the semi-finals and medal matches will be the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, with 24,000 capacity.
Group phase matches will be played in Vienna, Graz, Trondheim, Malmo and Goteborg.
Group 1: Germany, Poland, Israel, Kosovo.
Group 2: Croatia, Serbia, Switzerland, Belgium.
Group 3: Macedonia, Iceland, Turkey, Greece.
Group 4: Slovenia, Holland, Lithuania, Estonia.
Group 5: Belarus, Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland.
Group 6: France, Portugal, Latvia, Romania.
Group 7: Hungary, Russia, Slovakia, Italy.
Group 8: Denmark, Montenegro, Ukraine, Faroe Islands.
Translated from Vijesti Online, for the original click here.