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Stage set for UEFA-backed deaf futsal finals

UEFA is supporting the organisation of the European Deaf Futsal Championships which, between 6 and 14 November, will dominate the deaf and hear impaired sports scene.

The European Deaf Futsal Championships take place in Switzerland this month
The European Deaf Futsal Championships take place in Switzerland this month ©EDSO

Deaf and hearing impaired sports in Europe will turn their undivided attention to the Swiss city of Winterthur from 6 to 14 November, when the UEFA-backed European Deaf Sports Organisation (EDSO) and the Schweizerischer Gehörlosen Sportverband-Fédération Sportive des Sourds de Suisse (SGSV-FSSS) jointly stage the 3rd European Deaf Futsal Championships.

The event is receiving UEFA's support as part of the European body's grassroots programmes. UEFA is providing a financial contribution of €70,000 to EDSO for the organisation of this championship; the final tournament of the 8th European Deaf Football Championship, scheduled to take place in Odense, Denmark, between 27 June and 9 July next year; and the inaugural European Deaf Women's Football Championship, due to be played in Sofia, Bulgaria, between 12 and 22 June.

"The European Deaf Sports Organisation is grateful for the support given by UEFA," said EDSO, "which helps it to recruit neutral match officials, as well as ensure high-standard facilities to cope with the large number of matches over nine days. It also greatly welcomes UEFA's technical advice."

The men's deaf futsal tournament involves 26 teams, who will be kicking off the competition in six groups of four or five. Spain, Ukraine, Netherlands, Israel, Portugal and Russia rate as pre-tournament favourites.

Fourteen countries are competing for the women's European championship title, with Russia, England and Germany expected to feature strongly. The spectators can look forward to plenty of thrills and excitement, especially once the tournaments reach the decisive knockout stages.

Men:
Group A: Ukraine, Sweden, Scotland, Belgium
Group B: Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey, Poland
Group C: Netherlands, Belarus, Ireland, Cyprus
Group D: Portugal, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Wales
Group E: Israel, Italy, Slovenia, Moldova
Group F: Russia, Slovakia, Finland, Denmark

Women:
Group A: Russia, Denmark, Switzerland, Israel, Netherlands Group B: Germany, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Norway
Group C: England, Sweden, Portugal, Poland

For more information, visit ecfutsal2010.com or edso.eu/sports/futsal/index.php.