Norway, France set for early clash at World Championship
With four months left until throw-off, the draw for the preliminary round of the Men’s IHF World Championship 2021 in Egypt was conducted against a backdrop of the pyramids of Giza last weekend.
The 32 participants - half of them from Europe - were divided into eight four-team groups, and it was group E that immediately caught the eye.
Norway, runners-up of the past two World Championships, were handed six-time champions France as one of their opponents, ensuring a rematch of the 2017 final already in the early stages of the tournament.
Hosts France defeated Norway 33:26 in the gold medal match of the 2017 tournament.
Austria are the third European contenders in this group, which will be completed by a qualifier from the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation (NACHC).
Elsewhere, defending champions Denmark meet Argentina, Bahrain and Congo, while reigning EHF EURO gold medallists Spain face Poland, who entered on a wild card, as well as Tunisia and Brazil.
EHF EURO 2020 finalists Croatia take on Qatar, Japan and Angola, while Germany and Hungary share a group with Uruguay and Cape Verde.
Also, Sweden and Czech Republic will both clash with hosts Egypt.
The full preliminary round draw is available here. The three best ranked teams of each group will advance to the main round.
The 27th Men’s IHF World Championship will take place from 13-31 January 2021.
Photo EHF EURO 2020 © Stanko Gruden / kolektiff