IHF awards Japan with wildcard for 2019 Men’s World Championship
Thanks to a wildcard, awarded by the International Handball Federation, the hosting nation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be part of the 2019 Men’s Handball World Championship in Denmark and Germany. As announced on the IHF website, the IHF council decided to award Japan with this spot for Germany/Denmark 2019. The Japanese team, coached by Icelandic born former German national team Dagur Sigurdsson, missed the direct qualification via the Asian Championship in Korea in January 2018.
The IHF awards wild cards for World Championships, if no team from Oceania qualifies via the Asian Championships (fifth place or better).
Due to the IHF Council decision, five Asian teams will be part of the first ever Men’s Handball World Championship, jointly hosted by two nations: Continental champions Qatar, as well as Bahrain, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan. In total, 12 of 24 participants are confirmed so far: besides hosts Germany and Denmark, the defending World Champions France, the European champions Spain and the three African participants Tunisia, Egypt and Angola.
The remaining 12 spots will be decided in the Pan American Championships in Greenland (3) and the European Playoffs (9), both carried out in the middle of June. The composition of the four groups of the preliminary round will be drawn end of June in Denmark.
The World Championship will be staged from 10 to 27 January 2019 in the Danish cities Herning (preliminary round, main round, placement matches, medal matches), Copenhagen (preliminary round, Presidents’ Cup) and the German counterparts Berlin, Munich (both preliminary round), Cologne (main round and Presidents’ Cup) and Hamburg (semi-finals). The 2019 World Champions directly qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Tickets for the 2019 Men’s World Championship are available via the official website handball2019.com