There should therefore be some great sports coming up at the EHF EURO 2018, taking place in France from 29 November to 16 December. The French team will be proud to appear in front of its home crowd with a second star on its jersey. After the success of the 2017 Men’s World Championship in France, this EHF EURO will be the first in history to be played in France.
14 years after lifting the trophy in 2003, France were on top of the world on Sunday in Hamburg. Faced with the team from Norway, defending champions and heavily favoured, the French team fielded by Olivier Krumbholz demonstrated great solidarity, smart play and a great deal of heart in pursuit of its third consecutive metal after the silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the bronze at the 2016 European Championship in Sweden. But the sweetest prize is the world title.
“They certainly deserve it. The French team ramped up its play, with quite a varied collective game, solid goalkeeping right from the start of the tournament, and players capable of taking the initiative at every position, states Stéphanie Cano, captain of the 2003 French world champion team, who’s happy to see history repeat itself. They could have crumbled after their opening defeat at the World Championship. The team stayed together, with a sense of calm on the court and on the bench, relying on its collective strength rather than on individual players. It’s a team that gets it done, and a more adult team.”
This World Championship that involved 32 players from the LFH French Championship means that the EURO 2018 will have a lot to offer. Just a year to wait before this event organised in France from 29 November to 16 December. Five cities (Nantes, Brest, Montbéliard and Nancy for the preliminary and main round, and Paris for the final at the AccorHotels Arena), will accommodate the 47 matches on the programme.
This EHF EURO 2018 will be a great showcase for women’s handball and yet another opportunity to demonstrate its great appeal for live audiences and television spectators, who watched in great numbers during the World Championship (peak of 1.6 million for the semi-final of the Blues against Sweden on TMC, with the audiences for the final still to come).
“Overall, women’s handball is on a steady rise, with an increasingly well-structured Women’s Handball League, growing budgets and gradually increasing audiences, explains Guillaume Gille, assistant coach for the French male team and ambassador for the EHF EURO 2018. What the girls did in Germany was really something. For them, taking part in this EURO in France will be a magical moment, something extraordinary. A truly rare moment. Playing at home with the audience behind you provides incredible drive and strength. And I know what I’m talking about, since I had a chance to experience this in France as a player during the 2001 World Championship, and as a trainer during the recent 2017 World Championship.”
With 14 European nations in the round of 16 (with South Korea and Japan for Asia) and the emergence of new countries like the Czech Republic, the 2017 Women’s World Championship confirmed the supremacy of the “Old Continent” in this sport. We should see some great sports moments a year from now in France.
“This strong presence of European nations proves that the European Championship is a very hotly contested competition, indicates Sylvie Pascal-Lagarrigue, Chairwoman of the National Organising Committee for the EHF EURO 2018. The exceptional performance of our national team at the World Championship in Germany is a real boost for the EHF EURO 2018 in France. Seeing the stands full of all those Norwegians in Hamburg is instilling a desire to have this same experience at home next December, just like we saw with the men last January during the 2017 World Championship. There’s a great interest in our sport in France, what with all of these titles and medals. And the success at the recent Men’s 2017 World Championship in France proves that the public will be on hand a year from now. It’s going to be a great show.” Fans are already marking the dates on the calendar.
ABOUT THE EHF EURO 2018
After the success of the Men’s Handball World Championship organised in January 2017, this will be the first European Handball Championship to be played in France. Organised in five French cities from 29 November to 16 December 2018, the objective of the EHF EURO 2018, along with its mascots Rok and Koolette, is to spread the HANDBALLISSIMO effect throughout France and Europe.
- Dates: 29 November to 16 December 2018
- Arenas: Brest / Brest Arena, Montbéliard / L’Axone, Nancy / Palais des sports Jean Weille, Nantes / Parc des expositions - Hall XXL, Paris / AccorHotels Arena
- 1st Handball EURO organised in France
- 3 rounds: preliminary round / main round / final weekend
- 5 competition venues
- 16 teams qualified / 250 players
- 47 matches
- 165,000: objective for the number of tickets sold
- Ticket office at www.ehf-euro.com