Poland and Russia have been awarded wildcards for the 2021 International Handball Federation (IHF) Men’s World Championship.
The IHF Council decided to award the wildcards to Poland and Russia on account of the development of handball in the two countries and the potential economic benefits of competing for a world title.
They will now join the 28 other countries who have qualified for next year's World Championships, set to be held from January 14 to 31 in Egypt.
This includes defending and Olympic champions Denmark.
Two teams are still yet to secure a place through the qualification events of the North America and the Caribbean Handball Confederation and the South and Central American Handball Confederation.
One wildcard is always awarded for IHF senior events, while another was made available after no country from Oceania ranked fifth or higher at the Asian qualification.
Russia competed at the 2019 World Championships in Denmark and Germany, finishing fourth in their group before placing 13th overall.
Poland did not qualify for last year's event, but came 17th in 2017.
The two teams also competed at this year's European Championships, with Poland finishing 21st and Russia 22nd.