Preview of the 2020 Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournaments (Friday – Day 1) – Team Handball News

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Three great days of Olympic Qualification Handball.

How to watch the Olympic qualifying tournaments

  • If you live in a countries where there is no TV broadcasting matches should be available on the IHF YouTube channel. These matches can be accessed here and I will post a daily preview with direct links to each match video (see below).
  • If you live in a country where there is a tv show you may be geo-blocked from accessing the IHF YouTube channel. This is often the case even for matches that are not available on YouTube. However, it is usually possible to watch matches using a VPN. More information on using VPN; What I use) (Note: I would encourage handball fans to watch the games on TV when possible as they usually get a better picture but if there is no TV broadcast available where you live… what else are you going to do?)
  • United States residents: There is no television broadcasting in the United States and the matches should be available on YouTube
  • Canadian residents: The CBC will broadcast live at least some matches : Link

Would you like to know when and where handball matches can be streamed online all year round? If so, follow Team Handball News on social media for regular updates: Twitter FacebookInstagram


CET is 6 hours ahead of US ET. Odds courtesy of 10 Bet.

Tournament 1 (Complex Verde, Podgorica, Montenegro)

Current ranking

Overview: Norway are the heavy favorites to win this group and will most likely win all 3 matches. Brazil are the clear favorites to take 2nd place, but Chile and South Korea have chances to upset. Indeed, Chile beat Brazil 32-29 at the 2019 PANAM Games to qualify for this tournament while South Korea are known to be a very well-prepared team with Olympic qualification at stake.

  • Chile vs South Korea (-2.5) (Friday, 1730 CET / 1130 US ET) Video link
    • In all likelihood, this is an elimination match for these two longshots. The winner will put themselves in a position to face Brazil later in the tournament for 2nd place in the Group.
  • Norway (-6.5) vs Brazil (Friday, 2000 CET / 1430 US ET) Video link
    • Brazil are the only team with a realistic chance of pulling off an upset against Norway, but they were inconsistent at the 2021 World Championships in January. If things go south for Brazil, they might be content to keep some key players fresh for their upcoming games against South Korea and Chile.

Tournament 2 (Sud De France Arena, Montpellier)

Current ranking

Overview: This is the most open qualifying tournament and all 4 teams have a realistic chance of qualifying. France, of course, are playing at home and are the strongest team, but they will have to take care of business against 3 teams capable of beating them. Croatia have had a disappointing world championship, but their side seem to be a little healthier now, so they are the clear second favourite. A few weeks ago I may have listed Portugal as co-2nd favorite but the tragic death of GK Alfredo Quintana was a blow to their chances as he was world class on the net and their reserve goalies are a big step forward. declining in quality. Still, they are a rising side who eliminated France from the European Championship in 2020 and narrowly lost to Norway 29-28 last January at the World Championships. Tunisia are the outsiders of the group, but are clearly capable of creating an upset.

  • Tunisia vs Portugal (-2.5) (Friday, 1830 CET / 1230 US ET) Video link
    • An emotional and motivated Portugal will be looking to get off to a good start while Tunisia view this game as their best chance for a surprise.
  • France (-2.5) vs Croatia (Friday, 2100 CET / 1500 US ET) Video link
    • Includes English commentary with Paul Bray
    • The winner of this match between these 2 group favorites will have 1 foot in the door for the Olympic Qualification. As a tie at 3 (France, Croatia, Portugal) is a distinct possibility if either team falls behind, they will have to keep the game close for goal differential considerations.

Tournament 3 (Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin)

Current ranking

Overview: It’s hard to see Algeria winning a game in this tournament, so for all intents and purposes it’s 3 teams (Germany, Sweden, Slovenia) fighting for 2 places. Hosts Germany are the favourites, but have had a disappointing World Championships in part due to several players pulling out of the championship due to COVID concerns. These players, however, are back for this tournament and, on paper, that makes Germany a slight favourite. Sweden, on the other hand, had a great World Championship, surprising everyone by taking 2nd place with a roster full of newcomers. Confidence is surely high for them ahead of this tournament. Slovenia had a disappointing World Championship but came close to picking up some big wins, including a 28-28 draw against Sweden. They also seem to have a few injuries, including LB Borut Mackovsek, which could hamper their chances.

  • Germany (-1.5) vs Sweden (Friday, 1515 CET / 0915 US ET) Video link
    • Includes English commentary with Paul Bray
    • A pivotal match to start this tournament. The winner here puts himself in a good position to advance. The loser will have to win later in the tournament against Slovenia. Again, a 3-for-4 tie is a distinct possibility, so the margin of defeat could be critical later in terms of goal differential.
  • Slovenia (-6.5) vs Algeria (Friday, 1745 CET / 1145 US ET) Video link
    • Slovenia are heavy favorites here and will be looking to take care of business early ahead of their clashes against Germany on Saturday and Sweden on Sunday.