Belgium has been named as host nation of UEFA Futsal EURO 2014.
The decision was made at the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Venice, with the Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) beating off competition from the Football Association of Slovenia (NZS) and the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF). It will be the first futsal final tournament staged by Belgium, and is scheduled for the early part of the year.
By being based in the 2013 European Capital of Sport, Antwerp, the tournament will continue Belgium's proud tradition of holding major continental events, not least their joint hosting of UEFA EURO 2000 and more recently the 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. Belgium also competed in the European national team futsal showpieces of 1996, 2003 and 2010, while Action 21 Charleroi played in three of the first four UEFA Futsal Cup finals – becoming the first non-Spanish winners in 2005.
Antwerp mayor Patrick Janssens said: "Futsal really is alive in Antwerp. Antwerp is ready to organise the EURO. We have all necessary facilities.
A sport like futsal is attractive for all sections of the population and in Antwerp it acts as an important instrument for social cohesion."
URBSFA-KBVB president François De Keersmaecker added: "For Belgium and our FA it is a real honour to organise a EURO tournament again. I think Antwerp is ready to organise it."
UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 takes place in Croatia from 31 January to 11 February. Belgium and Croatia will be following in the footsteps of previous Futsal EURO hosts Hungary (2010), Portugal (2007), Czech Republic (2005), Italy (2003), Russia (2001) and Spain (the first UEFA European Futsal Championship of 1999 and also the 1996 UEFA European tournament).
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