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28.06.2017, 13:30◄ last page     

NEWS REPORT: All claimants to the European club throne in its anniversary season will unfold their battle plans in the medieval stronghold as the group stage draw of the EHF Champions League takes place at Ljubljana Castle. Three stellar names known from the Slovenian and foreign Champions League clubs will help at the draw.

Three Slovenian stars to take the fate of the new season in their hands

Less than a month after a thrilling conclusion of the 2016/17 European club competitions season the representatives of the continent’s elite clubs congregate again this week for two draw events on Thursday and Friday to outline their first steps in the new season.

The 2017/18 edition of the European top flight will mark the 25th anniversary in both men’s and women’s competition.

Tamara Mavsar, Vid Kavticnik and Dragan Gajic, three stellar names known from Slovenian and foreign Champions League clubs will take over the responsibility for drawing of the lots on Friday together with the EHF President Michael Wiederer.

Qualification draw in Vienna

First, the focus will shift to the EHF’s headquarters in Vienna. On Thursday 29 June (11:00 hrs) the qualification tournaments will be drawn.

A draw of the two women's qualification groups will be followed by drawing of the order in the hosting rights for the tournaments.

As there is just one group in the men’s qualification and seeding has determined the semi-final pairings, there is only a hosting rights draw needed.

Main draw event at Ljubljana castle

For the second year in a row the group stage draw will take place away from Vienna. After all eyes of handball fans were on Denmark’s Glostrup (the headquarters of the EHF’s official ball supplier SELECT) last year, the Slovenian capital will step into the spotlight, as the Ljubljana castle will host the event.

The location of a combined men’s and women’s event could hardly be more matching as when the decision was announced Slovenia was the only country besides Spain which could boast both men’s and women’s EHF Champions League winners. Only on Sunday 4 June FYR Macedonia joined this elite company after HC Vardar claimed the trophy at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne.

Both RK Krim Mercator, who won the Europe’s premier competition twice in 2001 and 2003, and RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko, who dominated amongst continent’s best clubs in 2004, are also on the starting grid of the upcoming season.

Draw procedure

The official part of the event will start at 19:00 hrs local time, while the “serious business” of drawing the lots will begin at 21:00 hrs. There will be a lot of important names present at the event - Zoran Jankovic, the mayor of Ljubljana, Franjo Bobinac, president of the Slovenian Handball Federation and CEO of the new EHF's regional sponsor Gorenje, Janez Kocijancic, European Olympic Committee's Acting President, and Predrag Boskovic, EHF Vice President, to name a few.

Women's EHF Champions League

Tamara Mavsar, who is returning to Krim Ljubljana after one season with HC Vardar, will take the responsibility for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2017/18 Group Matches draw.

The draw of the first two pots will be completely open. As clubs from the same country cannot play in the same group, the third pot will start with FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and FC Midtjylland who will be drawn from balls of a different colour in order to prevent them meeting Györ and Nykøbing respectively.

To avoid the same danger in the Pot 4, Brest Bretagne Handball and the qualification tournament winners (which could potentially be Vipers and Thüringer HC as the second teams of their respective countries) will be allocated to the first possible group from left to right.

VELUX EHF Champions League

After the Women’s EHF Champions League draw will be completed, the right back of Montpellier HB Vid Kavticnik will take over from Mavsar at the podium to take care of the VELUX EHF Champions League Group C and Group D. As there is no threat of having two teams from the same country the former Champions League winner (with THW Kiel) will be free to draw all twelve balls.

The situation will be rather more complicated when it comes to Group A and Group B. Dragan Gajic, who finished third with Telekom Veszprem at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 earlier this June, will draw only the first four pots and the rest will have to be allocated. More information can be found here.

Where to follow the events

Both draw dates will be intensively covered across all EHF’s media platforms. The streaming will be available not only on www.ehfTV.com but also on the EHF Champions League Facebook page and the ehfTV youtube channel. In addition there will be a live ticker provided on eurohandball.com and live Tweeting on @ehfcl.

TEXT: EHF / br

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