Last season's UEFA Futsal Cup hosts Iberia Star Tbilisi and fellow former semi-finalists Marca Futsal and Araz Naxçivan are among the club gearing up for the main round after the 24-team lineup was completed at the weekend.
While 16 clubs received byes to this stage, eight others joined them by winning their preliminary round groups last week. Baku United FC and Hamburg Panthers became the first English and German clubs to make it this far. Bulgaria's FC Grand Pro Varna, Belarusian champions MFK VitEn Vitebsk, Norway's Vegakameratene, Sporting Clube de Paris, Greek regulars Athina '90 and KMF Tango Sarajevo also progressed.
Baku, who feature a 2010 winner with SL Benfica in Arnaldo Pereira, will be in one of two groups commencing on Tuesday 1 October. They will travel to Cyprus to face AC Omonia Nicosia, Slovenia's FC Litija and Czech side FK EP Chrudim, now coached by ex-Spain winger Daniel. Also kicking off that day in Group 2 in Hungary, hosted by ETO FC Győr and featuring sole competition ever-presents Iberia, are Sarajevo and Varna.
Perhaps the toughest section starts the next day in Ukraine, with FC Lokomotiv Kharkiv challenged by Marca, Tulpar Karagandy – gaining entry as Kazakhstan champions Kairat Almaty won the European crown in April – and Pairs. Two other sections begin on 2 October, including Group 6 featuring Azerbaijan's Araz, while Group 1 in Riga is the last to commence the next day, ending on Sunday 6 October.
The top two in each main round group will join the four highest-seeded clubs given a bye to the elite round draw on Friday 18 October: Kairat, former winners MFK Dinamo and FC Barcelona, and 2011 runners-up Sporting Clube de Portugal. The four elite round group winners, to be decided between 19 and 24 November, will compete in the final tournament in late April, with the hosts picked from among their number.
Main round draw
Group 1 (3-6 October): Slov-Matic Bratislava (SVK), FK Nikars Riga (LVA)*, MFK VitEn Vitebsk (BLR), Hamburg Panthers (GER)
Group 2 (1-4 October): Iberia Star Tbilisi (GEO), ETO FC Győr (HUN)*, KMF Tango Sarajevo (BIH), FC Grand Pro Varna (BUL)
Group 3 (2-5 October): Marca Futsal (ITA), Tulpar Karagandy (KAZ), FC Lokomotiv Kharkiv (UKR)*, Sporting Clube de Paris (FRA)
Group 4 (1-4 October): FK EP Chrudim (CZE), FC Litija (SVN), AC Omonia Nicosia (CYP)*, Baku United FC (ENG)
Group 5 (2-5 October): KMF Ekonomac Kragyjevac (SRB)*, Club Futsal Eindhoven (NED), MNK Nacional Zagreb (CRO), Vegakameratene (NOR)
Group 6 (2-5 October): Araz Naxçivan (AZE), City'US Târgu Mures (ROU)*, Châtelineau Futsal (BEL), Athina '90 (GRE)
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