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Europe dominates as IHF awards World Championships

France takes on Norway in the final of the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship

Featured image credit: IHF

France takes on Norway in the final of the 2023 IHF Women’s World Championship

Featured image credit: IHF

The International Handball Federation’s Men’s and Women’s World Championships are set to remain in Europe for the foreseeable future after the IHF awarded hosting rights for the 2029 and 2031 editions of the tournaments.

The competitions were assigned destinations at an IHF Council meeting held in Créteil, France, with the host country of the federation’s gathering landing the 2029 Men’s World Championship alongside Germany.

France and Germany’s bid promises to bring together state-of-the-art arenas in two of the heartlands of handball in Europe. For France, this will be the fourth time it organises the IHF’s flagship competition, after 1970, 2001 and 2017, while Germany will stage the event for the 10th time.

The 2031 Men’s World Championship will mark a return to the northern part of Europe, with Denmark, Norway and Iceland joining forces to organise the 32nd edition of the competition. This will be only the second edition co-hosted by three countries, after Denmark and Norway joined forces with Croatia for the upcoming 2025 Men’s World Championship. Denmark and Norway also co-hosted last year’s Women’s World Championship alongside Sweden.

The two editions of the Women’s World Championship awarded by the IHF Council will see the competition return to Spain in 2029 after an eight-year wait. Spain also hosted the tournament in 2021.

The 2031 Women’s World Championship will be the fourth co-hosted by two countries, and the fifth co-hosted by multiple countries, with the Czech Republic and Poland joining forces for a successful bid.

The Czech Republic has hosted the competition only once, in 1978, as Czechoslovakia, while for Poland this will be the first time it hosts the women’s competition, with its most recent experience being as co-hosts for the 2023 Men’s World Championship, alongside Sweden.

The organising rights for the two competitions had already been awarded until 2029. The 2025 Men’s World Championship will take place in Croatia, Denmark and Norway, while the 2027 Men’s World Championship will be held in Germany.

The 2025 Women’s World Championship will take place in Germany and the Netherlands, while the 2027 Women’s World Championship is set to be played in Hungary.

The Men’s World Championship was last held outside Europe when Egypt staged the 2021 edition, while for the women’s event the most recent non-European host was Japan in 2019.

Hassan Moustafa, IHF president, said: “The interest for the IHF World Championship has been getting bigger and bigger in the last years and the fact that big handball countries like the ones which were awarded the hosting rights are still interested in hosting only means that handball is growing as a sport throughout the world.

“We are looking forward to creating new memories and see the best players in the world in these four editions of the IHF World Championship and I wish the best of luck for all the organisers to ensure the best conditions.”