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Men’s national team face Ireland, Lithuania and Romania in Euro qualifiers

The Malta waterpolo national teams discovered their opponents for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers as the men’s selection are bidding for a fourth qualification to the tournament finals that will be played in Split, Croatia.

Initially, the qualifying campaign was expected to be split into two rounds, one in November and the other in March, with Malta, being one of the top 16 seeded teams to compete in the second part of the qualifiers.

However, LEN decided to cancel the first qualification round due to the number of registered teams for the competition and there will be only one round to earn a place in the finals.

Seventeen teams will be competing in the qualification round with the top-two placed teams joining champions Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Russia in the tournament finals.

Malta will host their qualification group at the National Pool and will be up against Romania, Lithuania, and Ireland between February 18 and 20.

“I believe that we should be happy with the draw, particularly if you look at how the other groups shaped up,” Malta coach Karl Izzo told the Times of Malta

“For us, it’s going to be difficult as one has to remember that we are short of competitive matches. In fact, our last competitive match dates back to the last European Championships in Budapest and from then we couldn’t play due to COVID-19.

“As a team we are looking forward to this challenge and we are determined to retain our place among the top 16 teams in Europe. Now we will start planning our preparations to arrive for the tournament in the best possible shape.

“To be playing the tournament in front of our fans is a great incentive for us as we can bank on their support for these important matches.”

On the other hand, the women’s national team were drawn in Group C where they will be up against France, Israel and Portugal, with the top two teams reaching the continental finals.

Malta will host Group C between March 4 and 6.

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