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Futsal World Cup play-off preview

Published: Monday 21 March 2016, 10.32CET
Just over a month on from UEFA Futsal EURO 2016, Europe's finest are back in action in the FIFA Futsal World Cup play-offs with Serbia facing Portugal again.
by Paul Saffer
Futsal World Cup play-off preview
Serbia are back at Arena Belgrade to play Portugal ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 21 March 2016, 10.32CET

Futsal World Cup play-off preview

Just over a month on from UEFA Futsal EURO 2016, Europe's finest are back in action in the FIFA Futsal World Cup play-offs with Serbia facing Portugal again.

Just over a month on from UEFA Futsal EURO 2016, Europe's finest are back in action in the FIFA Futsal World Cup play-offs with the first legs on Tuesday.

The ties (22 March & 12 April)
Slovenia v Spain
Slovakia v Ukraine
Poland v Kazakhstan
Serbia v Portugal
Belarus v Russia
Netherlands v Azerbaijan
Hungary v Italy*

*2nd leg 13 April

  • The play-offs will decide Europe's seven representatives in the final tournament in Colombia.
  • Action returns to Arena Belgrade, which staged the UEFA Futsal EURO finals, as Serbia host Portugal in a rematch of the group game won 3-1 by the home nation, the consolation being an extraordinary Ricardinho goal.

Serbia 3-1 Portugal: Watch Ricardinho's stunner

  • Spain, hoping to equal Argentina and Brazil in qualifying for all eight World Cups, have reached the final of the last five global tournaments, winning in 2000 and 2004.
  • Slovenia, Slovakia, Belarus and Azerbaijan are all aiming to qualify for the first time.
  • Kazakhstan, who took bronze in Belgrade, have never qualified as part of UEFA but did get to the 2000 finals while still in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
  • Europe's contingent at Brazil 2012 included the now-eliminated Czech Republic as well as Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Serbia and Ukraine.
  • Slovakia, Poland, Belarus and the Netherlands did not compete in the UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 finals while, of the 12 that did, Croatia and the Czech Republic failed to get past the World Cup main round.

Final tournament, 10 September–1 October 2016, Colombia:
AFC: Australia, Iran, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
CAF: 3 tbc by 24 April
CONCACAF: 4 tbc by 15 May
CONMEBOL: Colombia (hosts), Brazil (holders), Argentina, Paraguay
OFC: Solomon Islands
UEFA: 7 tbc by 13 April

Last updated: 21/03/16 12.31CET

https://www.uefa.com/futsalworldcup/news/newsid=2344895.html#futsal+world+cup+play+preview