Budapest to host 2014 Women's EHF FINAL4Article
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NEWS REPORT: The EHF has announced the organiser of the first edition of the final weekend of the Women's EHF Champions League on 3-4 May 2014

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Budapest to host 2014 Women's EHF FINAL4

Budapest is to host the first edition of the Women's EHF FINAL4 in May 2014, the EHF has announced.

The winning joint bid from Hungarofest, a leading event management company, and the Hungarian Handball Federation (MKSZ), will organise the final event of the Europe's four best female club teams in close co-operation with EHF Marketing GmbH, the marketing arm of the EHF.

The two-day event will be played in the Papp Laszlo Budapest Sportarena in the capital - an arena with a capacity of 12,500 seats.

The arena played host to the final weekend of the Women's EHF European Championship in 2004 and will once again host the event in December 2014.

Semi-finals will be played on Saturday, 3 May 2014, the third place match and the final will follow on Sunday, 4 May 2014. Playing times will be confirmed later.

EHF President, Jean Brihault, said: "The Budapest bid was very impressive and we are convinced that this event will be a great success in its first year.

"Handball has a huge following in Hungary and we know that this first event will attract fans from across Europe. We're looking forward to a fantastic atmosphere in Budapest in May."

The awarding decision of the 2014 event to Budapest was made by the EHF Finance Delegation on behalf of the EHF Executive Committee.

Slovenia's Ljubljana with its Stozice Arena was the other possible venue in the race for the premiere of the Women's EHF FINAL4.

Handball stronghold in central Europe

Handball in Hungary has a long and successful tradition decorated with many medals from top international tournaments.

It is one of the most popular sports, which was also clearly demonstrated last season by 15,000 ticket requests for Veszprem Arena, where the second leg of the Women's EHF Champions League Final was played.

In total, almost 40,000 fans saw the home matches of two Hungarian teams in the last season of the female European top flight - Györi Audi ETO KC and FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria.

Eight contenders for four places

All four semi-finalists have to book their places through the Women's EHF Champions League Main Round, which will be played in six rounds between 1 February and 16 March.

The defending champions Györi Audi ETO KC are in Group 2 together with three former winners - Slovenia's RK Krim Mercator Ljubljana, Montenegro's Buducnost Podgorica and Norway's Larvik, while Denmark's FC Midtjylland, Macedonian WHC Vardar SCBT Skopje, Sweden's IK Sävehof and German Thüringer HC are in Group 1.

Two best teams from each group will qualify for the Women's EHF FINAL4 semi-finals.

TEXT: EHF / br