The UEFA Futsal Cup comprises three group stages and a four-team final tournament.
Depending on the number of entrants, the lower-ranked nations are drawn into three or four-team mini-tournaments played at the start of the season. Each mini-tournament is staged by one of the clubs and each team plays each other once with the group winners (and if needed a certain number of runners-up) progressing.
The preliminary round winners join the remaining entrants. In Path A, the holders, and the other teams ranked 1 to 11 and 16 to 19 (excluding the holders) are drawn into four groups of four from which the top three go through. In Path B the remaining 16 teams including the sides progressing from the preliminary round are drawn into four groups of group from which the winners go into the elite round.
The 16 teams progressing from the main round are drawn into four groups of four teams. The winners of the one-venue mini-tournaments in late autumn progress to the finals.
The four-team finals are held over a weekend in late April and hosted by one of the qualifiers. The tournament is played as a knockout with the semi-finals followed two days later by the final and third-place play-off. If the third-place match is level after 40 minutes it goes straight to penalties, in the other games ten minutes of extra time will be played. Those matches will then be decided on penalties if the scores are still level.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
The 2012/13 UEFA Futsal Cup will have a familiar format with three rounds played as one-venue mini-tournaments – preliminary, main and elite – leading to the four-team finals. Depending on a team's coefficient, based on their own performance and that of their nation's other representatives over the last three seasons, different clubs will enter at each of the three pre-finals stages.
The size of the preliminary round, running from 7 August, will depend on the number of entries. In principle, the group winners will go forward to join all the remaining entrants – bar the top four seeds – in the main round, consisting of six groups of four played from 4 September. The top two in each main round group will join the top four seeds in the four elite round groups from 9 October, the mini-tournament winners playing in the finals beginning in late April, and hosted by one of the participants.
*Played as part of one-venue final tournament.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.