#UCLFutsal main round report

The elite round line-up is complete with the likes of holders Inter FS, Barça, Benfica, Sporting, Ugra and Kairat making progress.

Holders Inter are through to the elite round
Holders Inter are through to the elite round ©Andreja Kostadinović

The UEFA Futsal Cup has become the UEFA Futsal Champions League in 2018/19 and the main round runs ended on Sunday with 16 of the 57 original entrants into the elite round draw on Friday.

Holders Inter and Chrudim both made it through
Holders Inter and Chrudim both made it through©Andreja Kostadinović
Kairat continue their bid for a third title
Kairat continue their bid for a third title©Gani Kosumi
Fans in Makarska saw Croatia's Novo Vrijeme go through on debut
Fans in Makarska saw Croatia's Novo Vrijeme go through on debut©Matko Begović

Main round group qualifiers

Path A

Group 1
1st:
Benfica (POR)
2nd: Barça (ESP)
3rd: Halle-Gooik (BEL)

Group 2
1st: Inter FS (ESP, holders)
2nd: EP Chrudim (CZE)
3rd:
Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB)

Group 3
1st
: TTG-Ugra Yugorsk (RUS)
2nd: Dobovec (SVN)
3rd: Sibiryak (RUS)

Group 4
1st
: Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
2nd: Sporting CP (POR)
3rd: LSM Lida (BLR)

*Berettyóújfalu replaced Győr 

  • Top three in each group progress to the elite round.
  • Record five-time winners Inter are joined by former champions Barça, Benfica, Ugra and Kairat (who have now reached the elite round in all 13 seasons since the current format was introduced).
  • Sporting have finished runners-up three times and lost the last two finals to Inter.
  • Sibiryak are through on their debut.

Path B

Group 5
Through: A&S Futsal Pescara (ITA)

Group 6
Through
: Novo Vrijeme Makarska (CRO)

Group 7
Through
:
Record Bielsko-Biała (POL)*

Group 8
Through
: Vytis (LTU)*

*Preliminary round winners

  • Group winners progress to the elite round.
  • Vytis are the first Lithuanian side to reach the elite round.
  • A&S Futsal Pescara and Novo Vrijeme Makarska have made their debut in this round, with newcomers Informatica Timişoara having made their bow in the preliminary stage.

Preliminary round group winners

Group A winners: Mostar SG (BIH)

Group B winners: Kampuksen Dynamo (FIN)

Group C winners: Uddevalla (SWE)

Group D winners: Hohenstein-Ernstthal (GER)

Group E winners: Valletta (MLT)

Group F winners: Vytis (LTU)

Group G winners: Record Bielsko-Biała (POL)

Group H winners: Informatica Timişoara (ROU)

Group I winners: TMC Tbilisi (GEO)

  • Group winners progress to the main round
  • Kampuksen Dynamo, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Informatica Timişoara and TMC Tbilisi all came through on their debut entries

Elite round draw: 14 October
Elite round: 13–18 November

  • Four groups of four will be formed with the winners progressing to the knockout finals, hosted by one of the qualifiers

Finals: 25 or 26 & 27 or 28 April

What is the format?

• The top three nations in the UEFA Futsal National Teams coefficient rankings have two guaranteed entries in the competition: for 2018/19 that is Spain, Portugal and Russia.

Kazakhstan (ranked fourth) also have a second entrant for 2018/19 as Spanish champions Inter FS will enter as holders (joined by Barça; no country can enter three teams even if the holders finish outside their national top two).

• There are preliminary, main and elite rounds, played as one-venue mini-tournaments leading to the four-team finals, under the same format introduced for 2017/18.

• A record total of 57 clubs entered the new UEFA Futsal Champions League: all will be involved in the preliminary and main rounds, which were drawn on 5 July.

Highlights: Inter beat Sporting for fifth title
Highlights: Inter beat Sporting for fifth title

What are the key dates?

5 July: Preliminary & main round draws, Nyon
28 August–2 September: Preliminary round
2–7 October: Main round
12 October (14:00CET, streamed live): Elite round draw, Nyon
13–18 November: Elite round
Early 2019: Finals draw
25 or 26 April: Semi-finals
27 or 28 April: Final & third-place play-off

When did teams enter?

• The lowest-ranked teams in the UEFA Futsal Champions League club coefficient rankings for 2018/19 began in the preliminary round (depending on the number of entries, this season 34). The group winners (nine this season) progressed to the main round.

No teams receive byes to the elite round, and all contenders excused the preliminary round begin in the main round.

Main round

• The main round, with a total of 32 clubs, is split into two separate paths.

Path A consists of 16 teams including the holders. In addition, the sides ranked 1st to 11th and 16th to 19th in the UEFA Futsal Champions League club coefficient rankings (excluding the holders) go into Path A. They were drawn into four groups of four, with the top three in each advancing to the elite round.

Path B comprises the other 16 teams (ranked 12th to 15th and 20th to 22nd, plus the nine preliminary round qualifiers for this season). These were drawn into four groups of four, with the first-placed sides proceeding to the elite round.

2017 final: Inter regain crown
2017 final: Inter regain crown

Elite round

• The 16 teams will be drawn into four groups, the winners of each progressing to the knockout finals.

• There will be three seeding pots for the elite round draw.

• The four main round Path A winners will be drawn into position one of each group.

• The Path A runners-up will be drawn into position two and will not be able to meet the winners of their main round group.

• The other eight clubs will then be drawn to fill the remaining two positions in each group (sides that finish third in a Path A group can meet either the winners or the runners-up from that section).

• There will be no country protection.

Finals

• As before, the competition concludes with a four-team knockout final tournament hosted by one of the contenders.

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