Preview WCh 2023: Best of luck to four SEHA countries


The 28th edition of the IHF World Championship officially starts today. The Championship will be held in Poland and Sweden from 11 to 29 January 2023. The 32 countries will be placed in eight groups and will play their matches in nine venues: Krakow, Gdansk, Katowice, Plock, Stockholm, Malmo, Gothenburg, Jonkoping and Kristianstad. Four SEHA – Gazprom League countries will participate. France and co-hosts Poland will open the 28th edition in Katowice on Wednesday, 11 January.

Group A: Spain, Montenegro, Chile, Islamic Republic of Iran
In Group A we have a mix of European, South American, and Asian countries and the obvious favourites are Spain who will be defending the bronze medal from the previous edition held in Egypt. Chile and Iran will play the first encounter while Spain will face off against Montenegro in the European match. The group will be played in the famous Tauron Arena in Krakow.
Group B: France, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia
Co-hosts Poland will have a difficult task in Group B with France and Slovenia as two European countries who are aiming for the main round. Saudi Arabia did not win a single game against any European side in history and will be the underdog in all three matches. Matches will be played in Poland in Katowice. The first match of Group B will be also the first match of the tournament – Poland against France while Saudi Arabia will on 12 January play against Slovenia.
Group C: Sweden, Brazil, Cape Verde, Uruguay
In Group C we have co-hosts Sweden, two South American teams – Brazil and Uruguay and the African team Cape Verde. This group will be placed in Sweden in Gothenburg so the Swedish national team will have the honour to play in front of their fans. So far Sweden won all five matches against Brazil, and this will be Uruguay’s second participation at the World Championship. Cape Verde and Uruguay will play the group’s first match, while Sweden and Brazil will close the first round.
Group D: Iceland, Portugal, Hungary, South Korea
In Group D we will keep an eye on SEHA – Gazprom League country – Hungary. Hungary will have a tough job playing against Portugal, Iceland, and South Korea. Telekom Veszprem’s Zoran Ilic, Adrian Sipos, Patrik Ligetvari and PPD Zagreb’s Csaba Leimeter will play the first match on 12 January against South Korea. In the European encounter, Portugal will face off against Iceland. Group D matches will be played in Kristianstad Arena in Sweden.
Group E: Germany, Qatar, Serbia, Algeria
Another SEHA country will be placed in Group E. Serbia will play against Germany, Qatar and Algeria in Katowice. In the Serbian team, we have Telekom Veszprem’s goalkeeper Vladimir Cupara and line player Dragan Pechmalbech, PPD Zagreb’s Stefan Dodic and Nexe’s Predrag Vejin. Serbia will play the first match on 13 January against Algeria and Germany will play against Qatar,
Group F: Norway, North Macedonia, Argentina, Netherlands
After their best result in the history of the World Championships, Argentina will surely have high hopes to improve that result. Their opponents are favourites Norway, Netherlands and SEHA – Gazprom League country North Macedonia. Group F will be played in Tauron Arena in Krakow. In the first encounter, North Macedonia will have a tough task against Norway. Also, this match will be Kiril Lazarov’s first appearance as a coach at World Championship for North Macedonia after he retired as a player.
Group G: Egypt, Croatia, Morocco, USA
Matches of Group G will be played in Swedish Jonkoping. Venue Husqvarna Garden will host Egypt, Croatia, Marocco and the USA. The first encounter will be this group derby – Croatia against Egypt. The American national team will make their comeback for the first time since 2001 and will play against Marocco. Numerous SEHA players will play in this group so we will definitely keep an eye on group G.
Group H: Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain, Tunisia
Two European, one African and one Asian side are facing off in Group H of the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship in Poland and Sweden – Denmark, Belgium, Bahrain and Tunisia. The group matches will be played in Malmo Arena in Malmo. The first match will be played on 13 January (Bahrain vs Tunisia), while in the other one Belgium will try to surprise defending champions – Denmark.