The preparations for the 28th edition of the IHF Men’s World Championship, due to be played across nine venues in Poland and Sweden between 11 and 29 January, are now on the home straight, with a little over two months before the throw-off.
After the draw took place in Katowice, Poland, on 2 July, and the 32 teams learnt their preliminary round opponents and the path to the title, the preliminary round fixtures including throw-off times have been finally confirmed, offering a glimpse into how the tournament will unfold.
The first day of the competition will see a genuinely spectacular first match, with co-hosts Poland taking on France in the Spodek in Katowice on 11 January at 21:00 CET.
The following day, the 28th IHF Men’s World Championship will get in full swing, with 14 teams entering the fray, as seven matches are scheduled in Krakow, Katowice, Gothenburg and Kristianstad.
Reigning champions Denmark will face Belgium in their first match of Poland/Sweden 2023, in the Malmö Arena, on the third day of the tournament, Friday, 13 January, at 20:30 CET.
Both hosts, Poland and Sweden, will play their matches at 20:30 CET, in Katowice and Gothenburg, respectively, except for the opening game.
Co-hosts Sweden start their campaign on Thursday, 12 January, against Brazil, at 20:30 CET, on the second day of the competition.
The 48 matches of the preliminary round will end on Tuesday, 17 January, with a full week of games determining the 24 teams that will advance to the main round.
All 32 teams will play three games in the preliminary round before the top three nations in each of the eight groups proceed to the four-group main round on 18 January. The two top-ranked teams of each main round group qualify for the quarter-finals, starting on 25 January.
The teams that do not reach the main round will compete in the President’s Cup, which begins on 18 January in Plock.
The throw-off times for the matches in the main round are 15:30, 18:00 and 20:30 CET, while the President’s Cup games will throw off at 18:00 or 20:30/21:00 CET.
The quarter-finals will take place on Wednesday, 25 January, at 18:00 and 20:30 CET in two venues, Gdansk and Stockholm, with the semi-finals set for 18:00 and 20:30 or 21:00 CET in the same venues on 27 January.
After a one-day rest, the finals are packed into a four-game day on 29 January in the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, with the Placement Matches 5/6 and 7/8 set for 13:00 and 15:30 CET.
The bronze-medal game will start at 18:00, while the final will throw off at 20:30 or 21:00 CET.