EHF Champions League
The EHF Champions League is the most important club handball competition for men's teams in Europe and involves the leading teams from the top European nations. The competition is organised every year by EHF. The official name for the men's competition is the VELUX EHF Champions League, since the VELUX Group began their title sponsorship of the competition in the 2010/11 season.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
|Founded||1956 (1993 in its new format)|
|Number of teams||28 (Group stage)|
|Level on pyramid||Level 1|
The EHF coefficient rank decides which teams have access and in which stage they enter.
Eligibility and qualifying
Each year, the EHF publishes a ranking list of its member federations. The first 27 nations are allowed to participate in the tournament with their national champion. The national federations are allowed to request extra places or upgrades from the EHF Cup.
The EHF Champions League is divided into five stages. Depending on the ranking of their national federation and of the criteria list, teams can enter the competition in either qualification or the group phase.
The current playing system will change in 2020/21.
Groups of four teams are formed. The number of groups can vary each season. Teams from each group play semi-finals and finals, in a single venue over a weekend. The winning team from each group advance to the group phase, while teams from lower ranks continue in the Men's EHF Cup.
Since the 2015/16 season, the format sees four groups formed, with eight teams each in Group A and B and six each in Group C and D. All the teams in each group play each other twice, in home and away matches. The first teams in Groups A and B advance directly to the quarter-finals, while teams from positions two to six in each of these groups proceed to the Last 16. Only the two best teams in Group C and D continue in the C+D elimination knockout round, played in a home and away format, where the winner of Group C meets the second-ranked team from Group D and vice versa. The six winners of the Last 16 stage join the Group A and B winners in the quarter-finals.
The pairings for the Last 16 are decided by the placement of the teams at the end of the group phase. The two winners of the C+D knockout round face the second-ranked teams from Group A and B in the Last 16. Each pairing is decided via a home and away format, with the aggregate winners over the two legs advancing to the quarter-finals.
The pairings for the quarter-finals are also decided by the placement in the group phase. The ties are decided through a home and away format, with the four winners over the two legs played in each pairing advancing to the EHF FINAL4. The official name for the men's EHF FINAL4 is the VELUX EHF FINAL4.
The participating VELUX EHF FINAL4 teams are paired for the semi-finals through a draw and play the last two matches of the season over a single weekend at one venue. The two semi-finals are played on a Saturday, with the third-place game and final on the Sunday.
The current anthem for the EHF Champions League is "Hymn of the Champions", exclusively written by Austrian film composer Roman Kariolou in 2007. The recording played during the entry ceremony before every game was performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Hernando.
European Champions Cup (organised by IHF)
EHF Champions League