In January 2022 24 teams will line up for the Men’s EHF EURO 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia. The competing nations came through a gruelling qualification process which concluded in May 2021 and had plenty of drama.
While 22 of the 24 teams reaching the final competition were also present in 2020, the lineup includes two countries less familiar with the EHF EURO. Co-hosts Slovakia have not featured since 2012 but earned a place through their hosting rights.
Lithuania ended a long wait to reach the final tournament again, after playing it once before in 1998. Not only did Lithuania collect two wins to secure a place among the best third-ranked sides, they presented strong challenges in some lost games as well, such as in their final clash when they led Portugal at half-time.
Two other teams that will play the final tournament are set for their second participation in history after making their debuts in 2020: the Netherlands and Bosnia Herzegovina.
EHF EURO 2016 winners Germany and EHF EURO 2018 finalists Sweden were the only two teams to reach the end of the qualifiers with a perfect record of six wins.
Serbia came close to perfect, with five wins (including two assessed results against Belgium) and one draw. Their results meant they beat three-time champions France in the standings – and they will get another chance to play Les Bleus in the final tournament with both teams drawn in group C.
Despite some strong performances, several nations must wait for their debut at the EHF EURO. Kosovo, Finland, Turkey, Faroe Islands, Estonia, Greece and Belgium all played strongly in qualification, with highlights including the Faroes’ 27:26 victory over the Czech Republic.