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.
Opened: 1961 (renovated 2007)
• The landmark venue in the Georgian capital was first used primarily by basketball's BC Dinamo Tbilisi and indeed remains the largest arena built specially for that sport in the former Soviet Union.
• It was reopened in August 2007 by Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava, with a new, larger playing surface and generally improved facilities for athletes, spectators and media.
• As well as basketball, the arena stages handball, judo, tennis, boxing and major concerts.
• The Palace of Sport has a long history with futsal and in the second season of UEFA club competion staged a 2002/03 first qualifying round group hosted by Iberia Star Tbilisi. Iberia returned there for the 2011/12 main round (including a record crowd for that stage of 4,500 v Geneva Futsal) and Georgia played out a thrilling FIFA Futsal World Cup preliminary round mini-tournament at the venue in October 2011.
• Iberia then topped a 2012/13 UEFA Futsal Cup elite round group there in October, a 5,000 crowd watching them beat SL Benfica to reach the finals, which the Palace of Sport will stage.
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