While all eyes are still on the Women’s EHF EURO 2018 in France, the road to the Women’s World Championship 2019 is entering its final stretch.
The finals tournament in Japan, which takes place from 29 November to 15 December 2019, will feature 24 teams - and five of them have already been confirmed: Japan as the host nation and France as the defending champions, as well the Netherlands, Romania and Russia as the three best-ranked and not already qualified teams at the EHF EURO.
As Europe has been allocated 12 slots, which do not include France as the defending champions, it leaves room for nine more teams to make the trip to Japan next year. Those teams will be determined through two-leg play-off ties, which will be played in May and June 2019.
The draw for the play-offs of the European qualification will be conducted on Saturday 15 December at 16:30 CET at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, on the sidelines of the EHF EURO. The draw will be streamed live on the official homepage of the Women's EHF EURO 2018.
The following teams have qualified for the play-off through the EHF EURO: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia and Sweden, and Austria as the second-best third-ranked team from the EHF EURO 2018 Qualifiers.
Five teams have made their way into the play-offs trough Qualification Phase 1: Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Slovakia and Switzerland as group winners, as well as Iceland as the best second-ranked team.
The pots for the Women’s World Championship 2019 Play-off Draw:
Denmark, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, Norway, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden
Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Iceland, FYR Macedonia, Switzerland, Slovakia
Each team from pot 1 will be drawn against a team from pot 2, with the teams drawn first having home right in the first leg. The matches will be played between 31 May and 2 June (first leg) and between 4 and 6 June (second leg) respectively.
The nine winners join the four already qualified teams from Europe at the World Championship 2019 in Japan.