The UEFA Futsal Cup comprises three group stages and a four-team final tournament.
Depending on the number of entrants, the lower-ranked nations are drawn into three or four-team mini-tournaments played at the start of the season. Each mini-tournament is staged by one of the clubs and each team plays each other once with the group winners (and if needed a certain number of runners-up) progressing.
The preliminary round winners join the remaining entrants. In Path A, the holders, and the other teams ranked 1 to 11 and 16 to 19 (excluding the holders) are drawn into four groups of four from which the top three go through. In Path B the remaining 16 teams including the sides progressing from the preliminary round are drawn into four groups of group from which the winners go into the elite round.
The 16 teams progressing from the main round are drawn into four groups of four teams. The winners of the one-venue mini-tournaments in late autumn progress to the finals.
The four-team finals are held over a weekend in late April and hosted by one of the qualifiers. The tournament is played as a knockout with the semi-finals followed two days later by the final and third-place play-off. If the third-place match is level after 40 minutes it goes straight to penalties, in the other games ten minutes of extra time will be played. Those matches will then be decided on penalties if the scores are still level.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Kairat Almaty have been picked to host the 2016/17 UEFA Futsal Cup finals on 28 and 30 April at the new Almaty Arena.
Contenders: Inter FS (ESP), Kairat Almaty (KAZ, hosts), Sporting CP (POR), Ugra Yugorsk (RUS, holders)
Friday 28 April
Ugra Yugorsk v Sporting CP (14:00CET)
Inter FS v Kairat Almaty (16:30CET)
Sunday 30 April (13:00CET)
Sunday 30 April (15:30CET)
*Local time is four hours ahead of CET
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.
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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