From 2017-2018, the UEFA Futsal Cup will see some interesting changes in the format ahead of the change in name to the UEFA Futsal Champions League in 2018-2019.
The UEFA Futsal Cup began in 2001-2002, when Playas de Castellon were champions. Â Since then it's been won by Spanish teams 8 times, including 4 by current holders, Inter Movistar. We look at the changes and how teams qualify for the next rounds.
The main change will be the number of teams from the top three nations in the UEFA coefficient.
For 2017-20120/8, Russia, Spain and Portugal will have two teams in the competition. Italy, 4th ranked, will also have a second side, due to Inter qualifying by being reigning champions. The 2nd Spanish side will be the winner of the Playoffs, or runners up, should that be Inter. There will still be Preliminary, Main and Elite rounds, each played as mini tournaments. The final four will still be a final four, with semis and a final.
No teams will receive a bye to the Elite Round as before. The lowest ranked teams will start in the preliminary round and the rest will join in at the Main round stage, with the winners (and some runners-up, depending on numbers) of the Preliminary Round.
The Main round will be 8 groups of 4 teams (32 teams), but with two different paths.
Path A will be 16 teams, including the reigning champion plus the teams from 1-11th in the ranking and 16-19th in the ranking. From Path A, 3 teams from the 4 groups will qualify for the Elite Round.
Path B will be 16 teams with rank 12-15 and 20 and below. Only the winner of each of these groups progress to the Elite Round.
The Elite round will be 16 teams, split into 4 groups of 4 with the winners qualifying for the Final Four.
The draw for the Elite round will change slightly, due to the format.
The 4 group winners from Path A will be in position 1 in the Elite Round groups.
The 4 group runners up will be drawn into position 2, but can't be in the same group as the winner of their group.The remaining 8 teams will be drawn totally at random and can be in the same group as teams from their Main round group and from the same country.
For more information, visit UEFA.com.