Credit: MMB

Brno To Host European Women’s Handball Championships In 2026

After 36 years, elite handball championships will return to the Czech Republic in 2026, in the form of the European Women’s Handball Championship, followed five years later by the Women’s World Championship in 2031. Brno will be the participating Czech host city of both of these events.

The 2026 European Championship will be hosted jointly by the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, and Romania, a record number of co-hosts for a major handball tournament, and also a rather rare case in general, with the only precedent being the Euro 2020 football championship.

The 2031 World Cup will be hosted by the Czech Republic and Poland alone, but Brno will still be the Czech host city.

“For a long time, we have felt a huge commitment to give fans the greatest emotions associated with big events,” said Ondřej Zdráhala, president of the Czech Handball Association. He noted that flawless cooperation between the Polish side, the City of Brno, and the South Moravian region was essential for the project.

“Major events such as the EHF EURO 2026 and the Women’s Handball World Championships [in 2031] attract the attention of the whole world,” said Jan Grolich, governor of the South Moravian region. “And the fact that it will be in Brno makes for a great chance for all of us who live here in South Moravia to highlight the importance of women’s sports in today’s world and at the same time present our region in an international context. I’m looking forward to it.” 

Czech Handball player Sabrina Novotná interviewed. Credit: MMB

Both events will take place in the multifunctional arena currently under construction on the grounds of the Brno Exhibition Centre. The championship in 2031 will carry the slogan “In the Spotlight”.

“We are building the Brno Arena precisely so that truly top international events can take place in our city,” explained Petr Kratochvíl, chairman of the board of Arena Brno. “The new modern hall will have the necessary parameters, and offer adequate facilities and comfort for visitors, including transport accessibility.”

“The City of Brno strongly supports the organisation of important sports events in the city,” added Tomáš Aberl, Brno city councillor for sports. “It is a priority for us, reflected in the building and development of sports infrastructure.” He listed as examples the recent renovation and expansion of the Lužánky swimming facility, the construction of a third hall for ball sports on Vodová, and the planned new city football stadium and hall for track cycling and athletics.

Brno Mayor Markéta Vaňková expressed her satisfaction with the positive outcome of the host selections: “Fans from Europe and the whole world will come to Brno,” she said. “Both top sporting events mean a lot of publicity for our city and, of course, economic benefits and new opportunities for the local business sector. And I must not forget the promotion of sports among all generations. It will be a handball festival and I firmly believe that we will be great hosts.”

Another key aim of the event is the popularisation of handball. It will also be a step in strengthening the position of women’s team sports ahead of the participation of the national team at the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, to be held in Los Angeles.

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