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New Futsal Cup season kicks off

With 14 debutants among the 27 teams competeting in seven preliminary round groups, including three in one section, the new UEFA Futsal Cup season kicks off on Wednesday.

KMF Zelezarec Skopje are among the seven group hosts
KMF Zelezarec Skopje are among the seven group hosts ©Iva Projkovska

The 2012/13 UEFA Futsal Cup kicks off on Wednesday with 27 teams looking forward to the preliminary round.

Only the winners of the seven mini-tournaments will progress to next month's main round – for which the draw has already been made – with 14 of the preliminary round contenders making their debuts.

That number includes three new faces in Group B – hosts København Futsal, Albania's Edro Vlorë and Lidselmash Lida of Belarus. Meanwhile, top seeds Helvécia Futsal London are hopeful of being the first English team to come through a round of UEFA competition in the small-sided game and advance to a second-stage group containing 2007 champions MFK Dinamo Moskva.

The club from the city that will hold UEFA Futsal EURO 2014, Futsal Topsport Antwerpen, are in action in Group D in Paris – aiming to go all the way and emulate Belgium's 2005 tournament winners Action 21 Charleroi.

The last preliminary pool ends on 12 August, by which time the identity will be known of the seven sides to proceed to the six-group main round, taking place from 4 to 9 September.

Preliminary round (8–12 August)
Group A: KMF Leotar Trebinje (BIH)*, Lexmax Chisinau (MDA), Balzan Youths FC (MLT)

Group B: Helvécia Futsal London (ENG), Lidselmash Lida (BLR), København Futsal (DEN)*, Edro Vlorë (ALB)

Group C: EID Futsal (IRL), Futsal Minerva (SUI), 1. FC Allstars Wiener Neustadt (AUT)*, TUFAD Ankara S. (TUR)

Group D: Futsal Topsport Antwerpen (BEL), Paris Sporting Club (FRA)*, Hamburg Panthers (GER), FC Santos (SCO)

Group E: Maccabi Nahalat Itzhak (ISR), Vegakameratene (NOR), Shahumyan (ARM), FC Encamp (AND)*

Group F: FS Ilves Tampere (FIN), FC Grand Pro Varna (BUL)*, Ibra Göteborg (SWE), Cardiff City FC (WAL)

Group G: KMF Zelezarec Skopje (MKD)*, KF Jedinstvo Bijelo Polje (MNE), Bekentas Vilnius (LTU), FC Anzhi Tallinn (EST)

Main round (4–9 September)
Group 1: Luparense C/5 (ITA), Slov-Matic Bratislava (SVK), AC Omonia (CYP)*, winner preliminary round Group F

Group 2: KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB), FK Nikars Riga (LVA)*, winner preliminary round Group E, winner preliminary round Group G

Group 3: FK EP Chrudim (CZE)*, City'US Târgu Mureş (ROU), Energy Lviv (UKR), winner preliminary round Group A

Group 4: Iberia Star Tbilisi (GEO), Athina '90 Athens (GRE), KMN Svea Lesna Litija (SVN)*, winner preliminary round Group D

Group 5: MFK Dinamo Moskva (RUS), MNK Split (CRO)*, winner preliminary round Group B (nb: Akademia FC Pniewy (POL) have withdrawn)

Group 6: Araz Naxçivan (AZE), Club Futsal F Eindhoven (NED), Győri ETO FC (HUN)*, winner preliminary round Group C

Bye to elite round (9–14 October)
FC Barcelona (ESP, holders), SL Benfica (POR), Murcia FS (ESP), Kairat Almaty (KAZ)

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