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Futsal hopefuls begin hike to Hungary

Published: Thursday 19 February 2009, 8.27CET
Next January's 2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship finals in Hungary will be the biggest ever with 12 contenders, and the race to earn those berths begins on Thursday when the 16-team preliminary round kicks off.
by Paul Saffer
Futsal hopefuls begin hike to Hungary
Malta and Greece will be matches in the preliminary round ©Domenic Aquilina
 

Photos

Published: Thursday 19 February 2009, 8.27CET

Futsal hopefuls begin hike to Hungary

Next January's 2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship finals in Hungary will be the biggest ever with 12 contenders, and the race to earn those berths begins on Thursday when the 16-team preliminary round kicks off.

The 2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship finals in Hungary next January will be the biggest ever with 12 contenders and the race to earn those berths begins on Thursday with the preliminary round.

Dublin challenge
Sixteen teams are competing in four mini-tournaments, with the group winners and two best runners-up to join 22 other nations in the qualifying round from 19-22 March. Three teams are involved in the tournament for the first time; Estonia, Montenegro and the Republic of Ireland, who will stage Group A in Dublin against England, Cyprus and Kazakhstan, whose champion club Kairat Almaty will compete in April's UEFA Futsal Cup final four.

Qualifying aim
Estonia are in Group B in Bulgaria, meeting the hosts, Armenia and Latvia, a side only beaten by eventual finals entrants Romania in the 2007 preliminary round. Malta welcome Greece, Georgia and Albania for Group C and Montenegro, Turkey and Finland visit Israel in Group D. Matches will be played on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The qualifying round draw has already been made and the winners of Group A in Dublin will have a formidable task, as among their opponents in the next stage will by holders Spain. The finals in Budapest and Debrecen run from 18-30 January 2010.

2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship preliminary round (19-22 February)
Hosts in bold
Group A (Dublin)Group B (Varna)
KazakhstanLatvia
CyprusArmenia
EnglandBulgaria
Republic of IrelandEstonia
Group C (Paoala)Group D (Ramat Gan)
GreeceIsrael
GeorgiaFinland
AlbaniaTurkey
MaltaMontenegro
2010 UEFA European Futsal Championship qualifying round (19-22 March)
Hosts in bold (group winners and four best runners-up qualify)
Group 1 (Targu Mures)Group 2 (Granada)
UkraineSpain (holders)
NetherlandsSlovakia
RomaniaMoldova
AndorraWinners Preliminary round Group A
Group 3 (Chrudim) Group 4 (Kaunas)
Czech RepublicItaly
CroatiaBelarus
Bosnia-HerzegovinaLithuania
Winners Preliminary round Group BPreliminary round runners-up 2
Group 5 (Antwerp)Group 6 (Viana do Castelo)
SerbiaPortugal
BelgiumPoland
F.Y.R. MacedoniaAzerbaijan
Winners Preliminary round Group CWinners Preliminary round Group D
Group 7 (Issy-les-Moulineaux)Bye to final tournament
RussiaHungary (hosts)
Slovenia
France
Preliminary round runners-up 1

Last updated: 19/02/09 14.06CET

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