The French Handball Federation (FFHB) has concluded a year-long selection process by announcing its nine proposed host venues for the 2017 World Men’s Championship.
Aix en Provence, Albertville, Brest, Lille, Metz, Montpellier, Nantes, Paris and Rouen have been selected from more than 15 bids for the hosting rights. The nine will now be put forward to the International Handball Federation (IHF) who will assess their suitability to stage the showpiece event and confirm the final selection by the end of the year.
Joël Delplanque, president of the FFHB, said: “The organisation of the World Championship of course has a sporting goal around the permanent support for the excellence of the French men’s team. But it must also, and this to me is equally important, be leveraged to further accelerate our development projects. The World Championship is in the service of French handball and its legacy is a major issue that must guide our actions.”
Najat Belkacem Valaud, France’s Minister of Women's Rights and spokesperson in the Ayrault government, added: “I note that eight of the nine arenas selected for this World Championship will have been completely renovated in 2017 or will be completely new. France once again is proving its ability to host major international events in excellent conditions.”
France secured the hosting rights for the 2017 World Men’s Championship in December 2011.
France edged out Denmark to win the tender to erase the disappointment of losing to Qatar in the race for the 2015 World Championship earlier in the year. It will be the third time France has hosted the handball event, following previous editions in 1970 and 2001. The country also staged the IHF World Women’s Championship in 2007.