18 teams embark on road to 2023 World Championship
While the top 16 teams in Europe start the Women’s EHF EURO 2022 this week, there is no time to rest for 18 other sides who enter the qualification road to the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Qualification phase 1 will throw off this week with a game between Ukraine and Luxembourg on Tuesday and conclude on Sunday when the nine teams advancing to the next phase will be confirmed.
- six of the nine ties will be played at the same venue, with only three – Bulgaria vs Italy, Slovakia vs Latvia and Austria vs Finland – sticking to home and away matches
- all matches will be streamed live on EHFTV
- from the 18 teams entering qualification phase 1, only Austria and Slovakia played at the 2021 World Championship, where Austria finished 16th and Slovakia 26th
- Austria are one of the most experienced sides at the start of qualification phase 1, as Herbert Müller’s side will also co-host EHF EURO 2024
- Iceland hope to end an 11-year drought, after they last featured at major events at the EHF EURO in 2010 and 2012 and the 2011 World Championship
- experienced Spanish coach Jorge Duenas will try to instil some life in Slovakia, after losing five of the first six games – including friendlies – since he took up the job in January 2022
- three teams are qualified directly the 2023 World Championship: co-hosts Denmark, Norway, and Sweden; from the remaining 29 spots, 12 go to European teams, with the top three of the upcoming EHF EURO progressing to the final tournament next year
Ambitious favourites to face plucky underdogs
There will be plenty of talent on display as the Qualification Phase 1 of the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship will unfold this week, with 18 teams trying to earn safe passage to the next phase of the Qualification Europe, when the teams which did not earn their berth for the next major tournament at the EHF EURO 2022 enter the fray.
Talented generations from Iceland, Portugal or the Faroe Islands will be looking to spring a surprise or two, as the first two sides will play both their games against Israel and Azerbaijan on their home court, being clear favourites. However, the Faroe Islands will match forces with Kosovo, with two away matches.
Slovakia and Austria are also eyeing to use their experience to be back for the second time in a row at the World Championship but will be facing fierce competition from Latvia and Finland. Yet Austria, who drew against Romania in a friendly tournament in October, will surely use their talent to proceed, as any other result will be considered a failure.
2023 IHF Women’s World Championship qualification phase 1, first leg:
Tuesday, 1 November
19:00 CET – Ukraine vs Luxembourg (in Luxembourg)
Wednesday, 2 November
17:00 CET – Bulgaria vs Italy
19:00 CET – Slovakia vs Latvia
Thursday, 3 November
19:30 CET – Faroe Islands vs Kosovo (in Kosovo)
20:00 CET – Greece vs Bosnia Herzegovina (in Bosnia Herzegovina)
20:25 CET – Austria vs Finland
20:30 CET – Azerbaijan vs Portugal (in Portugal)
Saturday, 5 November
16:00 CET – Iceland vs Israel (in Iceland)
18:00 CET – Great Britain vs Türkiye (in Türkiye)