The qualifications for the Main Stage of the 2020/21 Champions League will be held in Syracuse (Italy) and Budapest (Hungary)
The draw for the qualifications was held at LEN headquarters in Nyon today.
This year, due to the impact of the pandemic, only one Qualification Round will be played. A total of 18 teams (from 11 countries) were drawn into two groups (and further two subgroups at each venue). Only the group winners will qualify for the Main Stage. The main stage will be played by a new formula.
Today, LEN confirmed that the 10 rounds of the Champions League main round would be played in ‘bubble format’ in three stages, using two venues at each occasion. The team will be isolated during these tournaments, according to the LEN health protocol.
(November 11 – 15)
Group A1: Ortigia Syracuse (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), Steaua Bucharest (Romania), Jadran Split (Croatia), Primorac Kotor (Montenegro).
Group A2: Szolnok (Hungary), Mladost Zagreb (Croatia), Pays d’Aix (France), Ydriakos (Greece).
Group B1: OSC Budapest (Hungary), Sintez Kazan (Russia), KVK Radnicki (Serbia), Terrassa (Spain), Tourcoing (France).
Group B2: Vouliagmeni (Greece), Brescia (Italy), ENKA Istanbul (Turkey), Oradea (Romania).
The playing formula is the same for both groups. After a round-robin competition in subgroups, the first-placed teams will face off in the finals of the tournaments. The two group winners will qualify for the preliminary round and join ten wildcard holders.
The others will also play to decide the final rankings (2nd-placed A1 vs. 2nd placed A2, 2nd-placed B1 vs. 2nd-placed B2, etc) because the 16 non-‐qualifying sides can continue in the LEN Euro Cup. Their placements here will determine the batches used for the draw in the second-‐tier cup.
Favorites in the group in Syracuse will be Ortigia, Szolnok, Mladost Zagreb, while Brescia, Vouliagmeni and host OSC stand out in the group in Budapest.
LEN Bureau agreed to use a special playing format of the main round, to secure that the Champions League can go all the way in “the age of corona”.
The ten rounds shall be played in three stages at two venues each time: teams of the same group will contest three rounds (one time four) at these tournaments where the participants shall be isolated for the entire duration of the event., LEN announced.
Wildcard-holders in the Champions League: Ferencvaros Telekom (Hungary), Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece), Pro Recco (Italy), CNA Barceloneta (Spain), Jug AO Dubrovnik (Croatia), CN Marseille (France), Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro).Spandau 04 (Germany), Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia), Waspo 98 Hannover (Germany),
As usual, the 12 teams will be split into two groups of the Preliminary Stage. The top four teams from each group will advance to the Final Eight (Hannover, June 3-5). Waspo Hannover is, as a technical host, already qualified for the F8.