2012 European Men's Handball Championship

The 2012 EHF European Men's Handball Championship was the tenth edition of the men's continental handball tournament, which was held in Serbia between 15–29 January 2012. Sixteen teams qualified for the event, including host nation Serbia, defending champion France and fourteen national teams through the qualifying tournament. The teams were split into four groups of 4, with the top 3 teams of each group advancing to the main round, carrying the points won against other qualified opponents. Going to the main round with no points, Denmark ended up winning the championship after defeating Serbia in the final with a scoreline of 21–19.[1]

2012 EHF European Men's Handball Championship
Европско првенство у рукомету 2012
EHF Euro 2012 official logo
Tournament details
Host country Serbia
Dates15–29 January 2012
Teams16 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)5 (in 4 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Denmark (2nd title)
Runner-up Serbia
Third place Croatia
Fourth place Spain
Tournament statistics
Goals scored2508 (53.36 per match)
Attendance302,688 (6,440 per match)
Top scorer(s) Kiril Lazarov (MKD) (61 goals)
Best player Momir Ilić (SRB)
Countries that qualified for the championship

The bronze medal was claimed by Croatia, who defeated Spain 31-27 to win their second bronze and fourth European medal overall.[2] In the placement match for the 5th position Macedonia proved to be too strong for Slovenia and won the match by 28–27. Macedonian right back Kiril Lazarov led his team with 8 goals to success and took the top scorers' award with a European Championship record of 61 goals.[3] Over 300,000 spectators were present in 47 matches during the tournament, which was also a new championship record.[1]

By winning the European title, Denmark directly qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, while Serbia and Macedonia secured a spot in the Olympic Qualification Tournament. Thanks to the Danish triumph, Poland also made it to the qualifiers as the eighth ranked team of the 2011 World Championship.[4]

Denmark, Serbia and Croatia as three best-ranked teams qualified directly for 2013 World Men's Handball Championship.

The championship was somewhat overshadowed by incidents that occurred during the final week of the event. On 26–27 January, in violent attacks, cars were damaged or set on fire, and several Croatian supporters were injured. In the semifinal match between Serbia and Croatia, Žarko Šešum, the back player of the Serbian team had his eye severely injured after a bottle intended for Croatian player Ivano Balić and coach Slavko Goluža was thrown at him.[5]