By James Crook

EHF-PhotovcJune 21 - Host nation and defending champions Denmark have bagged favourable opening fixtures in the men's European Handball Federation (EHF) Euro 2014 tournament as the draw for the tournament was made today in Herning, along with the announcement of that date on which tickets will be available to purchase.

Group A features host nation Denmark, ranked third in the International Handball Federation (IHF) world rankings, who will face Austria and the Czech Republic, ranked 16th and 17th in the world respectively, along with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who are one of the tournament outsiders ranked at world number 35.

Group A fixtures will take place at the 14,000-capacity Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning, where the draw also took place.

Nordic neighbours Iceland and Norway will meet in Group B, and face tough competition from world number four side Hungary and reigning world champions Spain, with these fixtures to be played at 4,600-capacity Gigantium in Aalborg.

Reigning champions Denmark should have little problem in qualifying through their group at Euro 2014

Group C looks to be the "Group of Death" as three top ten sides face each other in the opening round at the 5,000-capacity NRGi Arena in Aarhus.

World number two side Russia will face defending Olympic champions France, along with world number five team Serbia and Poland.

Beaten 2010 finalists Croatia will play in Group D along with the two lowest ranked teams in the tournament, world number 50 Montenegro and world number 43 side Belarus, along with London 2012 silver medallists Sweden at the 5,600-capacity Brondby Hallen near capital city Copenhagen.

Jyske Bank Boxen will also host the main round matches and the entire final round, whilst the second main round will take place at the NRGi Arena.

"The Men's EHF Euro 2014 will be a true celebration of handball, and together with the four host cities and Sport Event Denmark we will contribute to the handball festivities inside and outside the arenas," said Danish Handball Federation President Per Bertelsen. 

"We look forward to welcoming the 16 participating nations into the Danish handball culture.

"With the short distances between the arenas here in Denmark there will be good opportunities to follow the teams onsite right through from the preliminaries to the finals,"

150215617Olympic champions France have been handed a tough draw in Group C for Euro 2014

Sport Event Denmark chief executive Lars Lundov added: "Now we know the composition of the four groups of the men's EHF Euro 2014, and we look forward to welcoming the participating nations as well as the rest of the European handball world to Denmark.

"Based on the event experiences the Danish Handball Federation, the four host cities and Sport Event Denmark we will display the unique Danish Handball culture.

"We hope to do this so well that Denmark can become host of Men's World Championships in near future,"

A total of 30,000 tickets have already been sold for the event, which is due to start on January 14 with the final taking place on January 26, since Danish handball fans got the chance to snap up tickets for preliminary rounds and main round matches in Herning.

Tickets will go on sale to international supporters on July 1, with standing tickets starting from €30 (£25/$39) and seated tickets starting from €44 (£37/$58).

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories

November 2012: Denmark announce venues for 2014 European Handball Championships