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Date: 7/20/2014

The defending champions will face the host and their former coach - and two “hammer groups” are part of the 2015 World Championship in Qatar: In a prestigious and colorful draw event the preliminary round groups for the 24th Men’s Handball World Championship were drawn in Doha on Sunday (20 July). Attended by highest ranked representatives of the State of Qatar, the International Handball Federation and the Qatar Handball Association as well as representatives of all 24 participating teams and media from all over the globe, the luxury Ritz Carlton Hotel was the venue of this major step towards the World Championship, which is carried out from 15 January to 1 February 2015.

Six Qatari children assisted Leon Kalin, the Chairman of the IHF Commission of Organizing and Competitions in conducting the draw.  In his opening speech IHF President Dr. Hassan Moustafa mentioned that Qatar 2015 will be the best World Championship ever. Host Qatar, who had the prerogative to choose their preliminary round group, selected group A, as announced by national team head coach Valero Rivera after the rest of the pots had been drawn. Qatar will face Rivera’s previous team, defending World Champions Spain in their fight to reach their best ever ranking position at Men’s World Championships on home ground. “We hope to reach the next round in this toughest of all World Championships ever,” said Rivera.

This is the result of the draw:

Group A: Spain, Slovenia, Qatar, Belarus, Brazil, Chile

Group B: Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Austria, Tunisia, Iran

Group C: France, Sweden, Algeria, Czech Republic, Egypt, United Arab Emirates

Group D: Denmark, Poland, Russia, Argentina, Bahrain, Germany

“Group C and D are groups of death,” said French technical director Philippe Bana. His team - defending European champions - will face Sweden in the re-match of the 2012 Olympic final.

The event in Qatar is the first Men’s World Championship to take place in one city, Doha. The venues for the World Championship are the Qatar Handball Association Complex, Al-Sadd Sports Centre, Lusail Multipurpose Arena and the temporarily built handball arena in the Aspire Dome.

The definite match schedule, which will be confirmed in close cooperation of the IHF, the Qatar 2015 Organizing Committee and TV rights partner beINsport, will be announced in due time.