Expanded Futsal Euros hand Dutch hosts tough draw

October 19 – Hosts the Netherlands have been drawn alongside world and European champions Portugal as well Ukraine and Serbia/Belarus in the draw for Euro 2022.

It is the first time the continental futsal finals have been expanded to a 16-team format from a 12-team format. Nevertheless, the expanded draw did no favours for hosts Holland in Group A. Portugal, won the World Cup recently with a 2-1 final victory against Argentina, while Ukraine and either Serbia or Belarus will be no pushover.

The Serbians reached the second round of the World Cup before being knocked out by the eventual winners 4-3. Serbia and Belarus will face off in a two-legged playoff in November with the last ticket for the tournament at stake.

In Group B, Italy, who missed out on the global finals, will play Kazakhstan, Slovenia and Finland. The Kazakh team was the surprise package of the World Cup. They reached the semi-finals before getting beaten by Brazil in the third-place playoff.

Russia will face Poland, Slovakia and Croatia in Group C. The Russians competed as team RFU in Lithuania and featured in the last eight. Continental powerhouses Spain also fell in the quarter-finals at the World Cup and they were drawn with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group D.

The group stage of Euro 2022 will be played at Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam and MartiniPlaza, Groningen, with the Dutch capital staging the knockout phase.  The tournament takes place from 19 January to 6 February in 2022.

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