European Aquatics has announced that the 2024 European Water Polo Championships will go ahead in January with two sites playing co-hosts.
The men’s tournament will be held in the Croatian cities of Dubrovnik and Zagreb from January 4-16, while the women’s tournament will run in Eindhoven, the Netherlands from January 5-13.
The change comes after European Aquatics pulled the event out of Netanya, Israel, in light of the ongoing fighting between Israel and Palestine.
The event being pushed forward will allow competing nations to continue to vie for qualification to the 2024 World Championships in Doha and the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“We were forced to postpone the European Championships in Netanya because of the terrorist outrages against the Israeli people,” European Aquatics President Antonio Silva said.
“In the interest
s of the athletes, I am glad that we have been able to secure two great hosts and would like to thank our federations in Croatia and the Netherlands for doing everything possible to make these championships happen. By working together, we will organize these events in an optimal way.”
First Vice President Josip Vardovic thanked the authorities in Croatia and the Netherlands for accommodating the tournament on short notice.
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister of Croatia, Mr Andrej Plenkovic, for helping to guarantee enough resources for use of two venues, just one year after Croatia organized the last edition of the European Championships, for both men and women, in Split.
“I would also like to express our appreciation to the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation for gathering the support of local and national political authorities to ensure the hosting of this event. We can now look forward to a great promotion of Water Polo in Netherlands and Croatia.”
The move out of Netanya wasn’t the first time an event had been moved from Israel since the October 7 attacks by Hamas, with World Aquatics moving a crucial December open water race from Israel to Portugal last month shortly after fighting began.
European Aquatics has also said that the “political situation in Europe” has delayed planning of the 2024 European Aquatics Championships, though they did not specify if that was related to plans in Israel, Ukraine, both, or somewhere else.
Full details regarding venues and schedules for the 2024 European Water Polo Championships are expected to be released next week.