The French men’s team will meet their opponents in the preliminary round of the 2023 World Championship on Saturday (January 11-29 in Poland and Sweden). The draw will take place at 5 p.m. at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
Make sure to avoid favorites
Fourth in the previous edition, played behind closed doors in Egypt in January 2021, the Blues are in the first hat and are therefore guaranteed to avoid most of the other big guys, in particular Denmark, double defending champion, Sweden champion of Europe or Spain.
As permitted by the regulations, the two organizing countries have automatically assigned a team to each group. France is not part of it, but following this distribution, it can only appear in two groups: B in Katowice, where it would meet the Polish host, or G in Jonköping where it would face a once again its old Croatian rival.
In the third and fourth hats, the Blues will hope to avoid Hungary and Serbia, in full revival, as well as Slovenia, which received an invitation for the competition. Note that the last five of the 32 qualified will only be known on July 18 at the end of the African Nations Championship, which has been postponed several times.
Depending on what will come out of the innocent hands of host nations legends Slawomir Szmal and Magnus Wislander, France may as well inherit a very affordable group with Poland (much less armed than in the past), Saudi Arabia and the United States. United (who validated their ticket on Friday by winning the North American and Caribbean Championship), only a very tough one with Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. The top three from each preliminary round group will advance to the main round, which in principle shouldn’t be a problem for the Blues.
Pay attention to the group with which France will cross in the main round
Coach Guillaume Gille and his men will also be very attentive to the composition of the group with which they will cross in the main round: if they land in group B, they should find the qualifiers from group A there, including Spain; if they are in group G, it will be with teams from group H, that of the Danish scarecrow. This will be the most selective stage since only two teams out of the six in each group will reach the quarter-finals.
The final will be played on Sunday January 29 in Stockholm.