The new season of the LEN Champions League is going to start in mid-September, with matches of the first qualification round. The draw for the first qualification round was held in Novi Sad (Serbia), site of the Women’s European Junior Championships, this evening.
Qualification Round 1
The upcoming CHL will be the 5th edition of the Champions league by the format which includes three qualification rounds and clubs with wild-cards in the Preliminary round. Two countries appear in the competition for the first time: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Israel. Banja Luka is the first team in the history of water polo in Bosnia and Herzegovina which enters a European clubs competition. The representative of Israel is ASA from Tel Aviv. Both clubs will be the hosts of groups in the 1st qualification round.
Several very strong clubs will compete in the first qualification stage. Some of them are Jadran (Montenegro), semifinalist of the 2016/17 Euro Cup, two former champions of Europe: Canottieri (Italy) and OSC Budapest, Sintez (Russia)…
Thirteen teams were split into three groups of the 1st qualification phase. The tournaments will be played in Banja Luka, Tel Aviv and Strasbourg. The top two ranked sides from each group will advance to the second qualification round.
The toughest group is in Banja Luka. Sintez (Russia), OSC (Hungary), Terrassa (Spain), Portuense (Portugal) and Banja Luka will play in this group.
Qualification rounds 2,3 and Preliminary
Seventeen clubs will compete in the second round. Six sides from the first round will join eleven teams which represent federations that have wild-card holders. They will be drawn into four groups (three with four and one with five teams). The 1st placed and the 2nd placed in the groups of the 2nd round will qualify for the four play-off duels contested an home-and-away basis. The winner of the duels will secure their places in the preliminary stage.
The preliminary stage of the CHL will see 16 teams for the first time (4 more than in the previous 4 editions). The number of wild-card holders expanded from 8 to 12. Germany is the only nation which has two wild-card holders. Besides Spandau 04, which holds the card that belongs to Germany, it is Waspo Hannover 98, because the club will be a host of the final tournament of the 2018/19. Besides Hannover 98, newcomers in a circle of clubs with wild-cards are Dinamo (Russia) and Alphen (The Netherlands).
Sixteen will be split into two groups of the preliminary stage. Top four clubs from each group will play at the Final Eight. Pro Recco is, as a technical host, already qualified for the F8.
Champions League, 2017/18, Dates and participants
Qualification Round 1 (15-17 September 2017)
Group A – Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
OSC Budapest (Hungary)
CN Terrassa (Spain)
Sintez Kazan (Russia)
CF Portuense (Portugal)
Group B – Strasbourg (France)
Strasbourg ATT (France)
Canottieri Napoli (Italy)
Enka Sport (Turkey)
Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro)
Group C – Tel Aviv (Israel)
ASA Tel Aviv (Israel)
Mornar Split (Croatia)
ANC Glyfada (Greece)
Qualification Round 2 (29 September-1 October 2017)
Participants: Mladost Zagreb (Croatia), CN Marseille (France), ASC Duisburg (Germany), Vouliagmeni NC (Greece), ZF Eger (Hungary), AN Brescia (Italy), UZSC Utrecht (The Netherlands), CSM Oradea (Romania), Spartak Volgograd (Russia), Vojvodina Novi Sad (Serbia), CN Sabadell (Spain) and six clubs from the Qualification Round 2
Qualification Round 3 (14 and 18 October 2017)
Group winners and second placed teams from the groups of Round 2 will meet in four home-and-away duels. The winners will advance to the Preliminary Round
Preliminaries (14 rounds, 25 October 2017 – 9 May 2018)
Participants are wild-card holders Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia), Olympic Nice (France), Spandau 04 (Germany), Waspo Hannover (Germany), Olympiakos Piraeus (Greece), Szolnoki Vizilabda SK (Hungary), Pro Recco (Italy), AZC Alphen (The Netherlands), Steaua Bucharest (Romania), Dinamo Moscow (Russia), Partizan Belgrade (Serbia), CNA Barceloneta (Spain) and four clubs from the Qualification Round 3
Final Eight (Genova, 7-9 June 2018)
Pro Recco is as a technical host automatically qualified for the Final Eight.
EURO CUP AND EURO LEAGUE
The draws for the first qualification round of Euro Cup and for the Euro League for women were also held in Novi Sad this evening.
Thirteen clubs will play in two groups, from where the first four teams qualify respectively for the second round.
Qualification round 1 (29 September – 1 October)
Group A – Miskolc (Hungary)
Primorac Kotor (Montenegro)
Sturm 2002 (Russia)
CN Mataro (Spain)
White Sharks Hannover (Germany)
Hornets Kosice (Slovakia)
Group B – Verona (Italy)
Sport Management (Italy)
Jadran Split (Croatia)
ZPC Amersfoort (The Netherlands)
Sturm Ruza (Russia)
Pays D’Aix Natation (France)
OSC Potsdam (Germany)
FTC Budapest (Hungary)
Euro League Women
Sixteen teams were drawn into four groups. The winners and the 2nd-placed teams will qualify for the quarterfinals.
Qualification Round (1 – 3 December 2017)
Group A – Messina (Italy)
Ugra KM (Russia)
CN Saint Andreu (Spain)
Despar Messina (Italy)
SV Nikar Heidelberg (Germany)
Group B – Dunajvaros (Hungary)
NC Vouliagmeni (Greece)
ANC Glyfada (Greece)
Lille UC (France)
Group C – Utrecht (The Netherlands)
UZSC (The Netherlands)
Widex Donk Gouda (The Netherlands)
Group D – Padova (Italy)
Plebiscito Padova (Italy)
ZVL Leiden (The Netherlands)