Istanbul must get past 2015 finalists Zagreb if they are to make it to the 2017 UEFA Regions' Cup final on home soil following the group stage draw at Turkish Football Federation (TFF) headquarters.
The final tournament, staged from 1–9 July this year, will bring together the continent's best amateur sides, with few – if any – more impressive than Zagreb, who averaged four goals a game in qualifying.
Istanbul and will be contenders, though they will have to finish top of a Group A that also features impressive Ukrainian outfit Ingulets (who won all of their qualifiers) and Lisboa, who – like Istanbul – did not concede a single goal in qualifying.
Champions in 2009, Castilla y León were the first team drawn in Group B, but they can expect tough competition from Olomouc – the sixth Czech side to figure in the final tournament in ten editions – and Russia's South Region, veterans of the 2011 event.
More daunting still, the Region 2 team representing the Republic of Ireland (specifically the Munster and Connacht regions) contains a number of players who won the 2015 competition as Eastern Region.
The winners of each section will meet in the final on 9 July.
Use the hashtag #RegionsCup to talk about the competition on social media
— FCyLF (@FCyLF) September 28, 2016
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