Playas de Castellón FS won the first two UEFA Futsal Cups in 2002 and 2003Playas de Castellón FS won the first two UEFA Futsal Cups in 2002 and 2003 (©Enrique Serrano)

Competition format

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

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The UEFA Futsal Cup is contested every year by Europe's leading club sides and has grown steadily in size and stature since its inception in the 2001/02 season and 40 teams entered the sixth edition from 39 nations.

Champions compete
Each of UEFA's member associations is entitled to send its champion club to take part. The title-holder is also allowed to automatically defend the trophy, meaning the national association concerned is able to submit a second team for entry.

New system
For 2006/07 a new competition system has been introduced. The tournament begins with the preliminary round in mid-September which features 16 sides drawn into four mini-tournament groups, including that season for the first time clubs from Austria, Germany, Malta, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland. The top team from each pool joins 20 others in the Main round, split into six groups of four who will play in October. The top two from each of those groups joins the four top seeds in December's Elite round, with each of the four pools sending one team to the final four. The 2006/07 finals are on 26-28 April 2007 and will feature holders Boomerang Interviú, former winners Action 21 Charleroi, two-time runners-up MFK Dinamo Moskva and Spanish champions El Pozo Murcia FS.

Lisbon hosts
In the 2001/02 inaugural edition, a final tournament was played for the top eight clubs in Lisbon, Portugal. A total of 27 champion clubs had taken part in the qualifying phase, with Sporting Clube de Portugal exempted as hosts of the final round. These clubs were divided into seven groups, with the winners all heading to Portugal. Once there, the eight were divided into two groups of four. The winners of each section played the runners-up from the other pool, with the teams coming out on top meeting in the final. Spanish club Playas de Castellón FS were ultimately 5-1 winners against Charleroi.

Castellón double
From the next season until 2006 the UEFA Futsal Cup settled into a regular format, with slight variations owing to the number of entries. In the 2002/03 season, 30 teams entered the first qualifying round. They were divided into eight groups, with the winners all progressing to a two-section second qualifying round. The winners of each pool - again Castellón and Charleroi - contested the final. This was played over two legs and ended in a 7-5 aggregate triumph for the Spanish side.

Iberian final
A preliminary round was added in 2003/04 and has been played subsequently. In that year it featured just two teams, with the winners AS Odorheiu Secuiesc of Romania progressing to join a further 31 teams starting in the first qualifying round. This ensured an even number of teams for the eight groups. The rest of the competition played out as before with Boomerang keeping up Spain's proud record by defeating SL Benfica of Portugal 7-5 on aggregate.

Charleroi success
The 2004/05 edition saw a three-team preliminary round, with two going through to complete the 31-strong first qualifying round. The number was down one on the previous year because of the Israel Football Association's decision not to enter a team for logistical reasons. The final saw Charleroi avenge their defeats in the first two editions, by winning 10-9 on aggregate after extra time against Dinamo.

Two-legged final
The competition remained at 34 teams for the 2005/06 contest with four sides competing in the preliminary round. However, two sides progressed from each second qualifying round group, with each winner to play the other group's runners-up in a
two-legged semi-final. But the two group winners - Boomerang and Dinamo - still made the final, won 9-7 overall by the Spanish side.

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