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Futsal Cup set for tenth season

Holders SL Benfica will be among the contenders when the tenth UEFA Futsal Cup season begins, as in previous years with three rounds of mini-tournaments leading to the finals.

Benfica lifted the trophy in 2010
Benfica lifted the trophy in 2010 ©Sportsfile

The tenth UEFA Futsal Cup season kicks off in August as SL Benfica look to defend the trophy they won for the first time at the end of last month, with the preliminary and main round draws on 6 July.

As holders, Benfica are assured of their place in the competition along with the Portuguese champions – or runners-up if the Eagles win the league play-offs which begin next week. The champions of the other entrant nations will also take part, a lineup including this season's bronze-medallists Araz Naxçivan of Azerbaijan and the third-placed finishers from the year before, Kazakhstan's Kairat Almaty.

There is no change to the format for 2010/11, with three rounds played as one-venue mini-tournaments – preliminary, main and elite – leading to the four-team finals. Depending on a team's coefficient, based on their own performance and that of their nation's other representatives over the last three seasons, different clubs will enter at each of the three pre-finals stages.

The size of the preliminary round, running from 14 to 22 August, will depend on the number of entries. In principle, the group winners will go forward to join all the remaining entrants – bar the top four seeds – in the main round, consisting of six groups of four played from 25 September to 3 October. The top two in each main round group will join the top four seeds in the four elite round groups from 20 to 28 November, the mini-tournament winners playing in the finals beginning in late April, and hosted by one of the participants.

2010/11 UEFA Futsal Cup calendar
Preliminary and main round draw06/07/2010
Preliminary round14-22/08/2010
Main round25/09-03/10/2010
Elite round draw12/10/2010
Elite round20-28/11/2010
Finals drawtbc
Semi-finals*28/04/2011 or 29/04/2011
Final/third-place play-off*30/04/2011 or 01/05/2011

*Played as part of one-venue final tournament.