Almaty Arena to stage UEFA Futsal Cup finals

Kairat Almaty have been picked as hosts of the 2016/17 UEFA Futsal Cup finals in late April at the new 12,000-capacity Almaty Arena on 28 and 30 April.

©UEFA.com

Kairat Almaty have been picked to host the 2016/17 UEFA Futsal Cup finals during the last weekend of April at the new Almaty Arena, with the draw at 10:45CET (15:45 local time) on Saturday 4 March at half-time of football's Kazakhstan Super Cup at the Central Stadium.

The decision was made by the UEFA Executive Committee, meeting in Nyon on Friday. In the knockout event Kairat will be joined by title holders Ugra Yugorsk from Russia, three-time winners Inter FS of Spain and Portugal's Sporting CP. The semi-final draw will be held in Almaty, with the competition taking place on 28 and 30 April.

Kairat are the first club to be chosen twice as hosts. In 2011, when the event was staged at Almaty's Baluan Sholak Sport Palace, Sporting beat the hosts 3-2 in the semis, but the Portuguese side were themselves overcome by Montesilvano of Italy in the final.

Kairat face Sporting in the 2011 finals in Almaty
Kairat face Sporting in the 2011 finals in Almaty©Sportsfile

The Almaty Arena was completed in September, built as an ice hockey arena for the 2017 Winter Universiade. It can also be used for boxing, basketball and volleyball as well as futsal.

Kairat won their three elite round games at the Almaty Arena in November in front of an aggregate crowd of 15,500. The 6,500 who saw them defeat Real Rieti represented a record attendance for the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round, and the joint-fifth highest crowd in the tournament's history, behind four finals matches.

While Kairat are the first two-time hosts, Lisbon's Meo Arena is the only venue to have held the finals on more than one occasion, overseen by Benfica in 2010 and Sporting in 2015. Other venues have been Murcia (2007), Moscow (2008), Ekaterinburg (2009), Lleida (2012), Tbilisi (2013), Baku (2014) and Guadalajara (2016).

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