Press release
Paris - January 25, 2017

France vs Slovenia and Croatia vs Norway in semi-finals in Paris!

After the quarter-finals this Tuesday 24 January, the last four teams are known! World champion 2015 and record five-time champion, France will face Slovenia on Thursday; Norway reached the semi-final for the first time in their history and will face Croatia on Friday. The two matches will take place at AccorHotel Arena in Paris


Stats for the semi-finalists
France reached their 11th semi-final in their long handball history

During the last 13 World Championships, France only missed the semi-finals twice, beaten in quarter-finals in 1999 and 2013 

France are the only Rio 2016 semi-finalist to make it to a semi-final

Beating Hungary, Norway qualified for semi-finals for the first time in their history; their best result in World Championship was 6th place in 1958

One year ago, Norway obtained their best result in a EURO event, reaching the semi-finals for their first time, they finished 4th

Slovenia will play their second semi-final; their first one was in 2013 in Spain (4th place) 

Croatia will play their sixth semi-final; they only lost one (2013)

France are the oldest team (28.6), followed by Croatia (26.5), Slovenia and Norway (25.4)

Most goals: Norway (220), ahead of France (218), Slovenia (215) and Croatia (199)

Least goals: France (167) ahead of  Croatia (174), Norway (176) and Slovenia (192)

Among the three Spanish coaches in quarter-finals (Sabate/Hungary, Ribera/Spain, Rivera/Qatar), no Spanish coach made it to the semi-finals.

France are the only team which finished first in their group and to have won their seven matches, Croatia, Norway and Slovenia were second 

Coach Veselin Vujovic was the first ever World Handball Player of the Year in 1988.

After the quarter-finals, the top 10 scorers don’t belong to a team qualified for semi-finals; Lazarov (50) remains top scorer in front of Angolan Sergio Avelino Lopes (47) and Tunisian Amine Bannour (45)

Barys Pukhouski, from Belarus still leads of assists ranking (39) but Norwegian Sander Sagosen (38) and French Nikola Karabatic (36) are just behind.  

Amazing attendance figures!

Pierre-Mauroy stadium was sold out for each France game with a total of 72,200 coming to the three matches

Albertville saw 19,620 handball fans fill their hall to the rafters over the three matches there

Montpellier filled 78 per cent of the arena's seats that means 20,000 handball fans watched the eighth-finals and quarter-final in the Southern city. 

Paris has 25,000 passionate handball fans screaming and cheers for the three ties in the capital 

The home straight 

The semi-finals will both take place in the AccorHotels Arena in Paris on 26/27 January. 

France vs Slovenia will throw off on Thursday at 20:45 while Croatia vs Norway will get underway on Friday 20:45. The losing teams will then fight for the bronze medal on 28 January at the same time, same place. And the crowning moment of the 25th IHF Men's Handball World Championship is on Sunday when we will have the two best teams in the world battle it out at 17:30 in Paris for the world title!  

26-27th January: Semi-final
28th January: Bronze medal
29th January: Final

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