Hungary stay in first on women’s EHF Ranking
Hungary maintained their position in first place on the women’s EHF Ranking List for 2019/20, powered mainly by the performance of their clubs in the EHF Champions League. Hungary were the only nation in the 2017/18 season to see two of their clubs reach the quarter-final stage of Europe’s premier competition, with FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria knocked out by FINAL4 participants Rostov-Don at that stage, while Györi Audi ETO KC went on to become the first team to defend a title won at the FINAL4.
Hungary lead the ranking with 130.00 points and are joined at the top of the table by Romania (111.86 points), who jumped from fourth in 2018/19 to second for 2019/20. The performance of Romanian clubs in European cup competitions over the past three seasons, upon which the 2019/20 ranking is based, has seen the nation climb from seventh on the 2016/17 ranking to second for 2019/20.
The notable results began with CSM Bucuresti’s title in their maiden Champions League season in 2015/16. Since then, the team from the capital have made it to both subsequent editions of the FINAL4 in Budapest, while SCM Craiova won the EHF Cup in 2017/18.
France (73.43 points) also moved up two positions on the ranking, from seventh to fifth. They sit behind Russia, maintaining their place in third with 98.86 points, and Denmark (92.43 points), who dropped from second to fourth. Rounding out the top seven nations, who are allocated more places in the EHF Cup than those countries ranked below, are Norway and Germany, both of whom dropped one place – Norway to sixth (68.14 points) and Germany to seventh (63.86).
The biggest improvements came from Azerbaijan and Lithuania. Azerbaijan (6.29 points) moved from 30th in 2018/19 to 23rd for 2019/20, while Lithuania (3.29 points) jumped from 38th in the previous ranking to 31st.
In the women’s ranking, the top two nations are allocated four places in the EHF Cup, while the countries placed third to seventh are allotted three. The nations ranked from eighth (FYR Macedonia) through to 41st (Faroe Islands) are allocated one place in the EHF Cup. Every nation from first to 24th has one place in the Champions League.
Like the men’s ranking, the places in the Challenge Cup work backwards, with the countries from 25th (Portugal) to 41st allocated three places in the third-tier competition, while those ranked eighth to 24th (Slovakia) have two. Lastly, four Challenge Cup places are shared between Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Malta and Monaco. The top seven nations do not have allotted places in the Challenge Cup.