Club Brugge KV, beaten finalists in the 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup, will start their 2002/03 UEFA Champions League campaign with a tricky tie against Romanian champions FC Dinamo Bucuresti after the draw for the first two rounds of the competition took place at the NOGA hotel in Geneva, Switzerland, today.
The two clubs suffered contrasting fortunes on the final day of their respective domestic seasons as Dinamo wrested the Romanian championship from FC National Bucuresti, and Brugge handed the Belgian title to KRC Genk with a shattering 5-3 defeat by K. Sint Truidense VV. Brugge, who were undone by a Kenny Dalglish goal as Liverpool FC lifted the trophy 24 years ago, will be at home in the first leg of their second-round meeting.
FC Dynamo Kyiv, perennial Champions League group stage challengers, begin with a tie against either Tampere United FC or FC Pyunik. The Ukrainian side, who finished their domestic season in second place behind first-time champions FC Shakhtar Donetsk, will face the winners of the first-round game between the 2001 Finnish champions and the 2001 Armenian champions as they aim to earn a place in the third and final qualifying round.
Sparta made to wait
The runners-up in the Czech Republic, AC Sparta Praha, will also have to wait until the tie between FC Torpedo Kutaisi and B36 Tórshavn has been settled before finding out which of the two sides they will face in their first Champions League game of the 2002/03 season.
The winners of the game between Maltese champions Hibernians FC and Irish counterparts Shelbourne FC face the prospect of a meeting with Boavista FC, runners-up in Portugal, in the second round, while the beaten finalists in the 1977/78 European Champion Clubs' Cup, Club Brugge KV, will face FC Dinamo Bucuresti.
One of the most interesting ties of the first round will see the first ever side from UEFA's newest member nation, Kazakhstan, making their debut in the Champions League. FC Zhenis Astana will start their European campaign away to reigning Moldovan champions FC Sheriff Tiraspol. A week later Sheriff will become the first side to travel to the Kazakh capital for a Champions League fixture.
The first leg of all of the first-round ties will be held on 17 July, with the returns taking place on the 24 July. The second round will begin on the 31 July and will be concluded on 7 August. All of the draw results are provisional pending fixture reversals according to regulations.
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