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New Futsal Cup season starts

Matches in Bulgaria and Cyprus get the new season under way on Saturday with 28 teams in the preliminary round aiming to join the likes of MFK Dinamo Moskva and FC Barcelona.

Fjölnir will make their debut in the first fixture of 2011/12
Fjölnir will make their debut in the first fixture of 2011/12 ©KSI

The 2011/12 UEFA Futsal Cup kicks off on Saturday with the first two of seven preliminary round groups getting under way in Bulgaria and Cyprus.

In all, 28 clubs from the record entry of 49 will be in action between 13 and 21 August, with the seven group winners to progress to join 17 others in the main round next month. Very first to kick off will be Denmark's BGA Futsal and Icelandic debutants Fjölnir in Group D, where Bulgarian hosts MFC Varna and Norwegian newcomers Vegakameratene meet later.

Over in Cyprus, hosts AC Omonia Nicosia face first-time entrants Paris Sporting Club after Armenian team Eerebuni Yerevan take on Albanian outfit KF Flamurtari Vlora in Group G. Those mini-tournaments will end next Tuesday by which time all but one of the remaining sections will have begun, the exception Group F in Skopje which runs from 18 to 21 August. Kicking off on Tuesday will be Group B in Geneva which features the first Welsh entrants, The New Saints FC.

For the main round, running from 24 September to 2 October, the draw has already been made. The winners of Group F will progress to a mini-tournament containing 2007 champions MFK Dinamo Moskva, while whoever tops Group C out of hosts KMF Leotar Trebinje, SC Tornado Chisinau, Falcão FC Stockholm and FC Encamp will be among the first UEFA Futsal Cup opponents for FC Barcelona.

The top two in each main round group will progress to the elite round draw on 11 October, where they will join the four highest-ranked clubs: holders ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5, 2011 runners-up Sporting Clube de Portugal and the last two bronze medallists, Kairat Almaty and Araz Naxçivan. The elite round is played from 12 to 20 November and will decide the four teams that will compete in the finals next April.

Preliminary round groups
Group A (15-18 August): FS Ilves Tampere (FIN), KMF Bajo Pivljanin (MNE), SD Croatia Berlin (GER), Perth Saltires (SCO)*

Group B (16-19 August): FK Nautara Kaunas (LTU), EID Futsal (IRL), Geneva Futsal (SUI)*, The New Saints FC (WAL)

Group C (15-18 August): SC Tornado Chisinau (MDA), KMF Leotar Trebinje (BIH)*, Falcão FC Stockholm (SWE), FC Encamp (AND)

Group D (13-16 August): MFC Varna (BUL)*, BGA Futsal (DEN), Vegakameratene (NOR), Fjölnir (ISL)

Group E (14-17 August): ETO FC Györ (HUN), Helvecia Futsal London (ENG), Stella Rossa Vienna (AUT)*, FC Anzhi Tallinn (EST)

Group F (18-21 August): CF Eindhoven (NED), KMF Zelezarec Skopje (MKD)*, Excess RP Bidnija (MLT), Istanbul Üniversitesi SK (TUR)

Group G (13-16 August): AC Omonia Nicosia (CYP)*, Eerebuni Yerevan (ARM), Paris Sporting Club (FRA), KF Flamurtari Vlora (ALB)