FINA Communications Department

The European preliminaries of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2019 kick-off tomorrow on Tuesday October 23 across various European cities.

Fourteen (14) teams are taking part in the initial European phase and the groups’ composition unfolds as follow:

GROUP A: Russia, Hungary, Malta, Germany

GROUP B: Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine

GROUP C: Italy, France, Montenegro

GROUP D: Romania, Serbia, Croatia

Malta will first play Russia in Gzira (MLT), while the Netherlands will welcome the Ukrainians in Utrecht (NED) and Spain will face the Greeks in Barcelona (ESP).
Italy will visit Montenegro in Podgorica (MNE) and Croatia will play Romania at home in Sibenik (CRO).
The Hungarians and the Germans will however dispute their first game on Wednesday October 24 in Szolnok (HUN).

The European preliminaries will be played in six rounds, following the below calendar from October 2018 to March 2019, before the first FINA/LEN Men's Water Polo World League - Europa Cup Final is held from April 5-7, 2019.

Round
Date
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
#1 23 Oct 2018 MLT vs RUS
HUN vs GER (24 Oct)
ESP vs GRE
NED vs UKR
MNE vs ITA CRO vs ROU
#2 13 Nov 2018 GER vs MLT
RUS vs HUN
UKR vs ESP
GER vs NED
ITA vs FRA ROU vs SRB
#3 11 Dec 2018 RUS vs GER (12 Dec)
HUN vs MLT
GRE vs UKR
NED vs ESP
FRA vs MNE SRB vs CRO
#4 29 Jan 2019 RUS vs MLT
GER vs HUN
GRE vs ESP
UKR vs NED
ITA vs MNE ROU vs CRO
#5 19 Feb 2019 MLT vs GER
HUN vs RUS
ESP vs UKR
NED vs GRE
FRA vs ITA SRB vs ROU
#6 12 Mar 2019 GER vs RUS
MLT vs HUN
UKR vs GRE
ESP vs NED
MNE vs FRA CRO vs SRB

After the conclusion of the European preliminaries, the three (+1 depending on the host) best teams will be qualified for the Super Final from 18-23 June, 2019 (city tbc). They will be then joined by three (+1 depending on the host) other teams selected from the Intercontinental-Cup, which will be organised in Perth (AUS) from March 26-31.

Montenegro is the team to beat this year as the Balkan squad is the 2018 World League title holder, while Hungary and Spain secured the silver and bronze medals respectively. Hungary however grabbed the World Cup crown in Berlin in September this year.

Other strong contenders at the 2019 World League include Croatia, as the team won the World Championships 2017 tournament, ahead of Hungary and Serbia, in Budapest (HUN) and Serbia, World League title holders consecutively from 2013-2017.

The FINA Women's Water Polo World League kicks-off on Tuesday November 3.