Futsal EURO 2022: format, calendar

A new home-and-away qualifying group stage is among the changes leading to the first 16-team final tournament.

Futsal EURO 2018 was the last 12-team finals
Futsal EURO 2018 was the last 12-team finals ©Sportsfile

UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 is the first edition since the switch from the biennial 12-team tournament to a 16-nation finals held every four years, and there are big changes to qualifying too.

Qualifying format

Qualifying will consist of four stages: qualifying round (mini-tournaments), qualifying round play-offs (home and away), qualifying group stage (home and away) and play-offs (home and away).

  • Hosts enter in final tournament
  • The teams competing in the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup elite round (decided by 27 October) will enter in the qualifying group stage
  • All other entrants enter in the qualifying round
Portugal win 2018 title
Portugal win 2018 title

Qualifying round (29 January–1 February 2020)

  • The teams will be drawn into nine groups of three or four teams, played as mini-tournaments
  • Group winners progress directly to the qualifying group stage
  • If the EURO hosts (Netherlands) qualify for the World Cup elite round, the nine qualifying round runners-up and seven best third-placed teams (not counting results against fourth-placed teams if the round is a mixture of three and four-team groups) enter the qualifying play-offs [Option A]
  • If the Netherlands do not qualify for the World Cup elite round, the nine runners-up and five best third-placed teams (not counting results against fourth-placed teams if the round is a mixture of three and four-team groups) enter the qualifying play-offs [Option B]

Qualifying round play-offs (April 2020)

  • Option A: The 16 entrants are drawn into eight ties, to be played home and away (eight of the nine runners-up will play the second leg at home, no team can face a nation they met in the qualifying round)
  • Option B: The 14 entrants are drawn into seven ties, to be played home and away (seven of the nine runners-up will play the second leg at home, no team can face a nation they met in the qualifying round)
  • The winners of the ties will complete the qualifying group stage line-up

Qualifying group stage (February, April & September 2021)

  • The 32 teams (15 or 16 World Cup elite round contenders depending on if the Netherlands are among that number, nine qualifying group group winners, eight of seven qualifying round play-off winners) are drawn into eight groups of four
  • For the first time, this round will be played home and away, with every team meeting twice
  • The eight group winners and six best runners-up join the hosts in the finals, with the remaining two runners-up entering the play-offs
Spectacular Spain take 2016 title
Spectacular Spain take 2016 title

Play-offs (October 2021)

  • The two runners-up who do not progress from the qualifying group stage will meet home and away, with a draw to determine the order of ties. The winners will join the other 15 contenders in the finals

Final tournament (19 January–6 February 2022, Netherlands)

  • The 16 teams will be drawn into four groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the quarter-finals

Knockout system:
Quarter-final 1: Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A
Quarter-final 2: Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B
Quarter-final 3: Winner Group C v Runner-up Group D
Quarter-final 4: Winner Group D v Runner-up Group C
Semi-final 1: Winner quarter-final 2 v Winner quarter-final 4
Semi-final 2: Winner quarter-final 1 v Winner quarter-final 3
Third-place match: Loser semi-final 1 v Loser semi-final 2
Final: Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2

Competition calendar

Host appointment: 24 September 2019, Ljubljana
Qualifying round draw: 7 November 2019, Nyon

Qualifying round: 29 January–1 February 2020
Qualifying round play-off draw: 13 February 2020, Nyon
Qualifying round play-offs: April 2020
Qualifying group stage draw: 14 May 2020, Nyon
Qualifying group stage matchdays 1 & 2: February 2021
Qualifying group stage matchdays 3 & 4: April 2021
Qualifying group stage matchdays 5 & 6: September 2021
Play-off draw: September 2021, Nyon
Play-offs: October 2021
Final tournament draw: late 2021, tbc
Final tournament: 19 January–6 February 2022, Netherlands

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