8. Jun. 2018 09:59

Exactly half of the 24 participants of the Men's World Championship 2019 in Germany and Denmark are currently determined. Nine more will be confirmed until June 14, with 18 European teams dueling in the World Championship playoffs.

The first leg starts on Friday, the second leg follows from Tuesday to Thursday. Since the IHF has already awarded the Wildcard to Japan, it is clear that only the winners of the European playoffs will be part of the World Championship (10 to 27 January 2019). A top duel is certainly the match of the World Championship bronze medalists Slovenia against the Hungarians, besides Russia and the Czech Republic have a long World Championship tradition, which also face in the playoffs. The Swiss side is more likely to be underdogs against World Championship runner-up Norway, while Austria wants to take revenge on Belarus for the defeat at the European Championships in January.

Definitely, one team from former Yugoslavia will qualify for the World Championship in the duels Croatia vs Fyro Macedonia. Their neighbour Serbia faces the surprise pack Portugal, who eliminated Poland in the first qualification round.

From the Scandinavian point of view, the play-offs Sweden vs the Netherlands and Iceland vs Lithuania are in the focus.

The schedule of the European playoffs for the 2019 World Championship:

Lithuania vs Iceland

First leg: Friday 8 June, 19 hrs. local time, second leg: Wednesday 13 June, 20 hrs. local time

Czech Republic vs Russia

First leg: Friday 8 June, 20 hrs. local time, second leg: Tuesday 12 June, 16 hrs. local time

Slovenia vs Hungary

First leg: Saturday 9 June, 20 hrs. local time, second leg: Wednesday 13 June, 19 hrs. local time

Belarus vs Austria

First leg: Sunday 10 June, 17 hrs. local time, second leg: Wednesday 13 June, 20.15 hrs. local time

Fyr Macedonia vs Romania

First leg: Sunday 10 June, 20.30 hrs. local time, second leg: Wednesday 13 June, 18.30 hrs. local time

Netherlands vs Sweden

First leg: Saturday 9 June, 16 hrs. local time, second leg: Wednesday 13 June, 19.15 hrs. local time

Norway vs Switzerland

First leg: Saturday 9 June, 19.15 hrs. local time, second leg: Tuesday 12 June, 18.15 hrs. local time

Croatia vs Montenegro

First leg: Saturday 9 June, 20 hrs. local time, second leg: Thursday 14. June, 20 hrs. local time

Serbia vs Portugal

First leg: Sunday 10 June, 18 hrs. local time, second leg: Thursday 14. June, 21 hrs. local time

The last three World Championship participants will be determined at the Pan American Championship from 16 to 24 June in Greenland, one day after the final there, the draw of the World Championship preliminary round groups will be held in Copenhagen.

Tickets for the World Cup are available at http://www.handball19.com/#tickets