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World champions learn fate

Spain have been handed ties with Croatia and Georgia as they begin their bid for a third straight FIFA Futsal World Cup after the European qualifying draw.

Spanish challenge
Having taken the title in Guatemala in 2000 and defended it four years later in Chinese Taipei, Spain will aim to complete a hat-trick in Brazil next autumn. But first they must win qualifying round Group 3 on home soil to gain one of five places in the play-offs. The winners of those home and away play-offs will then qualify for Brazil.

Interesting draw
Among the other pools, 2004 runners-up Italy will host Andorra, Cyprus and Kazakhstan in Group 8, while their fellow former European champions Russia - who did not qualify for the last World Cup - are up against Serbia and France in Group 1, which like Spain's section boasts only three teams. Of the other teams to compete in Chinese Taipei, Portugal play Slovakia, Latvia and Turkey, Ukraine face debutants Moldova, Israel and Bulgaria and the Czech Republic take on Azerbaijan, Finland and Armenia.

2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying round
23 February-2 March
Hosts in bold
Group 1Group 2
RussiaNetherlands
SerbiaBosnia-Herzegovina
FranceLithuania
-Estonia
Group 3Group 4
SpainHungary
CroatiaPoland
GeorgiaF.Y.R. Macedonia
-England
Group 5Group 6
BelgiumCzech Republic
BelarusAzerbaijan
RomaniaFinland
MontenegroArmenia
Group 7Group 8
SloveniaItaly
GreeceAndorra
AlbaniaCyprus
MaltaKazakhstan
Group 9Group 10
PortugalUkraine
SlovakiaMoldova
LatviaIsrael
TurkeyBulgaria

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