Holders Portugal, Croatia, Kazakhstan and Spain secured maximum points as the first two sets of elite round matches were played.
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Holders Portugal, Croatia, Kazakhstan and Spain secured maximum points as the first two sets of FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying elite round matches were played, with the next games beginning on 5 October.
Among September's results, world and European champions Portugal picked up Group E wins against two of the UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 quarter-finalists, Finland and Georgia. Spain needed a late winner against Italy to move to six Group D points, while Croatia registered a 4-0 Group C victory against Slovakia, who pipped them to the last eight at Futsal EURO last year.
Kazakhstan gained narrow wins against the Netherlands and Romania in Group A but both Serbia and Ukraine's hopes for maximum Group B points were dashed in their second games. Poland came back from two down to defeat Ukraine 3-2 while Belgium equalised three times in holding Serbia 3-3.
Five of the seven European qualifiers for the 2024 World Cup finals in Uzbekistan are being decided by the groups, which continue until 20 December with home and away fixtures. The five group winners will qualify direct for the finals in Uzbekistan while the best four runners-up will go into the elite round play-offs.
A draw on 25 January will set the two-legged play-off ties between 8 and 17 April that will decide the last European qualifiers for the finals from 14 September to 6 October in Uzbekistan.
All KO times CET
TBC = date or time unconfirmed
6 October: Romania vs Netherlands (17:30)
6 October: Azerbaijan vs Kazakhstan (18:00)
10 October: Netherlands vs Romania (20:00)
11 October: Kazakhstan vs Azerbaijan (16:00)
TBC: Kazakhstan vs Netherlands
TBC: Azerbaijan vs Romania
TBC: Romania vs Kazakhstan
TBC: Netherlands vs Azerbaijan
6 October: Poland vs Belgium (17:00)
6 October: Serbia vs Ukraine (18:00)
11 October: Ukraine vs Serbia (18:00)
11 October: Belgium vs Poland (20:00)
TBC: Serbia vs Poland
TBC: Ukraine vs Belgium
TBC: Poland vs Ukraine
TBC: Belgium vs Serbia
5 October: Germany vs Slovakia (18:30)
5 October: France vs Croatia (21:05)
9 October: Slovakia vs Germany (18:30)
10 October: Croatia vs France (19:00)
14 December: France vs Slovakia (TBC)
TBC: Croatia vs Germany
TBC: Slovakia vs Croatia
TBC: Germany vs France
6 October: Italy vs Czechia (20:00)
6 October: Slovenia vs Spain (20:15)
10 October: Spain vs Slovenia (20:00)
11 October: Czechia vs Italy (19:10)
TBC: Slovenia vs Italy
TBC: Spain vs Czechia
TBC: Czechia vs Slovenia
TBC: Italy vs Spain
6 October: Armenia vs Portugal (17:00)
7 October: Georgia vs Finland (17:00)
11 October: Finland vs Georgia (17:10)
11 October: Portugal vs Armenia (22:00)
TBC: Armenia vs Georgia
TBC: Portugal vs Finland
TBC: Georgia vs Portugal
20 December: Finland vs Armenia (18:30)
- Armenia and Germany began in the preliminary round.
- Portugal won the World Cup in 2021 in Lithuania as well as the last two Futsal EUROs and the first Futsal Finalissima in 2022; Spain were World Cup winners in 2000 and 2004.
- As well as Portugal and Spain, Czechia, Kazakhstan and Serbia also played at the 2021 World Cup.
- Other teams that have played in previous World Cups: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine.
- In 2021 World Cup qualifying, Kazakhstan and Romania finished ahead of the Netherlands in their main round group (Kazakhstan beat both and hosts Romania drew with Netherlands). Kazakhstan then beat Romania in the elite round on their way to the finals.
- Azerbaijan beat the Netherlands 9-5 on aggregate in the 2016 play-offs to reach the finals.
- Ukraine beat Serbia 6-1 in the Futsal EURO 2022 group stage. Serbia defeated Ukraine 5-2 in the 2021 World Cup qualifying elite round (crucial to reaching the play-offs) and 2-1 in a dramatic Futsal EURO 2016 quarter-final in Belgrade.
- Serbia beat Belgium 2-1 in the 2021 World Cup qualifying main round.
- France beat Croatia 6-5 on aggregate in a play-off to reach their first major tournament. Futsal EURO 2018, having previously defeated Slovakia 4-1 in the main round.
- Slovakia beat Croatia 5-3 in Futsal EURO 2022 to reach the quarter-finals. Croatia beat Slovakia 3-2 in the 2021 World Cup qualifying elite round.
- Slovakia and Germany drew twice in the main round late last year.
- Spain beat Italy in the final of both the 2004 World Cup and Futsal EURO 2007 among 11 competitive meetings, all previously in final tournament (though their last competitive fixture was Spain winning 1-0 in the Futsal EURO 2012 semis).
- Italy and Slovenia drew 2-2 in the Futsal EURO 2022 group stage. Slovenia beat Italy in the 2014 and 2018 group stages but Italy won 2-1 in 2003 (when like in 2014 they claimed the title).
- Czechia beat Slovenia 3-1 in the 2021 World Cup qualifying elite round.
- Spain beat Czechia 5-2 in the 2021 World Cup round of 16 and have won all five previous competitive meetings, all in final tournaments.
- Spain beat Slovenia twice in the Futsal EURO 2022 qualifying group stage.
- Portugal beat Finland 3-2 in the Futsal EURO 2022 quarter-finals, having drawn 2-2 in the 2021 World Cup qualifying elite round.
- Georgia beat Armenia home and away in the Futsal EURO 2022 qualifying group stage.
- Finland beat Georgia 5-2 in the 2021 World Cup qualifying main round.