Table: Selected recently awarded key events
Poland and Sweden will host handball’s biennial men’s and women’s European Championships, respectively, in 2016, following voting by the European Handball Federation, the sport’s continental governing body, in Monaco on June 23.
Poland saw off competition from Croatia and Norway to land the men’s event, after receiving 27 votes in the first ballot. Croatia got 15 votes, while Norway received four. Sweden was unchallenged in the vote on the women’s competition, after Turkey withdrew its candidature.
Poland, which has never staged the men’s European Championships, will host games in Gdansk, Katowice, Lodz, Krakow and Wroclaw. Sweden, which has staged the women’s championship once before, in 2006, will host games in Stockholm, Kristianstad, Gothenburg, Helsingborg and Malmo.
The hosting decisions came less than a week after the EHF was forced to revisit its award of the women’s EHF Euro 2012 after the Netherlands withdrew, citing financial constraints. Serbia beat 10 other countries to win the right to host the championships, which will take place, as originally slated, between December 4 and 16.
Serbia staged the Men’s EHF Euro in January, and will rely on the same four cities that hosted games in that competition - Belgrade, Nix, Vrasic and Novi Sad - for the women’s event.
The EHF was in talks with the Dutch Handball Federation for several weeks as it attempted to retain the Netherlands as host nation and had even offered proposals to control costs, but
finally admitted defeat on June 4.
The EHF explained: “For financial and organisational reasons, the DHF reached a critical point and its board took the decision to pull out. We had offered to help, agreeing to reduce the number of venues down to two for the preliminary stage [from an original five], but in the end it was still not enough.”
In addition to Serbia, the countries that declared an interest in hosting the Women’s EHF Euro 2012 after the Dutch withdrawal were Croatia, Denmark, Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.
In 2014, the European Championships will be staged in Denmark (men) and Croatia/Hungary (women).