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  Colombia 2016 hopefuls discover their destiny
Friday, 20 May 2016

A major milestone in the countdown to the FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016, Thursdayís Official Draw revealed the fate of the 24 national teams who will contest the competition.

Held in Medellin, one of the tournamentís three host cities, the event saw hosts Colombia drawn into Group A, where they will play all their games in Cali and will round off the opening day of the competition, Saturday 10 September, with a tough outing against Portugal. Completing one of the most difficult sections are Uzbekistan and Panama.

Five-time winners Brazil will make their debut a day later in Bucaramanga, taking on Ukraine in Group D, which also features Australia and debutants Mozambique.

Meanwhile, two-time winners Spain will kick off their campaign on Monday 12 September in Medellin, when they take on the Asian powerhouse Iran in Group F, a pool that also involves African champions Morocco and Azerbaijan.

Taking to the stage

Held at Medellinís Plaza Mayor Conference Centre, the draw ceremony was hosted by popular sports commentators Ricardo Orrego and Marina Granziera, and began with the playing of the Colombian national anthem. Up next on the stage was a key player in the upcoming tournament: the official match ball, which was delivered to its plinth by Julio, a FIFA Futsal World Cup winner with Brazil in 2000.

Earning the dayís first ovation was another Brazilian idol, Falcao, who presented the official trophy following a video showcasing his incredible ball skills. The greatest futsal player in the world, Falcao had the honour of lifting the trophy almost four years ago in Thailand and will be looking to get his hands on it once more at the end of this year's final, to be played in Cali on Sunday 1 October.

Following welcome messages from Mayor of Medellin, Federico Gutierrez and Coldeportes director Clara Cruz Roldan, CONMEBOL President and FIFA Vice-President Alejandro Dominguez addressed the audience.

"On behalf of FIFA President Gianni Infantino and as the president of CONMEBOL, I would like to welcome you to the official draw of the FIFA Futsal World Cup," he said. "I am sure the representatives of the teams are as anxious as we all are to find out who they will be up against and in which cities they will be contesting the group phase. I personally cannot wait to be back here in a few months to watch the games."

Giving the last of the speeches, Ramon Jesurun, President of the Colombian Football Federation (FCF) and the Colombia 2016 LOC, said: "We have three cities that will be spectacular hosts. We also have an absolute desire to build further upon what this sport has accomplished at world level. Futsal produces exquisite quality and technique resulting in magic, and is a show that we will enjoy from beginning to end."

The high point of the evening

The near 400 guests and 80 members of the press were then treated to a performance by Colombian singer Martina, La Peligrosa, who filled the room with the sounds of her hit song Veneno por Amor ("Love Poison"). The pop star had several members of the audience out of their seats dancing, as well as the tournamentís official mascot, the bespectacled bear.

It was time then for the moment everyone had been waiting for, with FIFA Event Manager Jaime Yarza taking over as master of ceremonies. After explaining the procedure for the draw, he called the draw assistants on to the stage, with Medellin-born former Colombia international Juan Pablo Angel and Los Cafeterosí first-choice goalkeeper David Ospina lining up on one side of the stage, and former futsal world champions Kike of Spain and Marquinho of Brazil taking up position on the other.

One by one, the names of the participating national teams were drawn out of the pots, with the groups gradually taking shape on the big screen in the auditorium. Following events closely, the audience let out the occasional gasp, not least when the identity of Colombiaís first opponents was revealed.

"Colombia has a very difficult group, but they have progressed a lot and I trust they will do well," said Kike. "They have chances to advance to the next round. Spain's group is not easy, because once again we face Iran and now we also have the African champions. We will see what the first matches bring to us."

"Brazil has a very balanced group, and can't take anything for granted", said Marquinho. When asked to comment on his candidates to sparkle at the tournament, the Brazilian did not hesitate. "Russia, Colombia, Portugal, Italy and Spain, they are always tough and in good shape."

Turning in a performance as electrifying and intense as futsal itself, Martina, La Peligrosa captivated the audience once more with her powerful voice, bringing the event to an end with the song La Paligrosa.

Group A: Colombia, Portugal, Uzbekistan, Panama
Group B: Thailand, Russia, Cuba, Egypt
Group C: Paraguay, Italy, Vietnam, Guatemala
Group D: Ukraine, Brazil, Mozambique, Australia
Group E: Argentina, Kazakhstan, Solomon Islands, Costa Rica
Group F: Iran, Spain, Morocco, Azerbaijan

courtesy: FIFA.com

 next tournaments:

 UEFA U-17 Women's Tournament Portugal 2016
 » 29 June - 3 July 2016
 UEFA Futsal Cup 2016-2017 - preliminary and main round draws
 » 7 July 2016
 CONMEBOL Women's U-20 Championship Paraguay 2016 - final round
 » 8-15 July 2016
 AFF Futsal Club Championship Myanmar 2016
 » 8-16 July 2016
 AFC Futsal Club Championship 2016 - final round
 » 15-23 July 2016
 UEFA Futsal Cup 2016-2017 - preliminary round
 » 16-21 August 2016
 CONMEBOL Women's Copa Libertadores de Futsal Chile 2016 - final round
 » 20-27 August 2016
 FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 - final round
 » 10 September - 2 October 2016
 UEFA Futsal Cup 2016-2017 - main round
 » 11-16 October 2016
 AFF Futsal Championship Thailand 2016
 » 31 October - 6 November 2016
 UEFA Futsal Cup 2016-2017 - elite round
 » 22-27 November 2016
 AFC U-20 Futsal Championship 2017 - qualifying round
 » 2-11 December 2016
 CONMEBOL U-20 Championship Uruguay 2017 - final round
 » 10-18 January 2017
 UEFA Futsal Euro Slovenia 2018 - preliminary round
 » February 2017
 UEFA Futsal Euro Slovenia 2018 - qualifying round
 » March 2017
 CONMEBOL Women's Copa Libertadores de Futsal Chile 2017 - final round
 » 2-9 April 2017
 AFC U-20 Futsal Championship 2017 - final round
 » 20-30 April 2017
 CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores de Futsal Colombia 2017 - final round
 » April 2017
 AFC Futsal Club Championship 2017 - final round
 » 5-13 August 2017
 CONMEBOL Copa America de Futsal Argentina 2017 - final round
 » 20-28 August 2017
 Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games Turkmenistan 2017
 » 15-24 September 2017
 AFC Futsal Championship 2018 - qualifying round ASEAN
 » 5-15 October 2017
 AFC Futsal Championship 2018 - qualifying round East
 » 5-15 October 2017
 AFC Futsal Championship 2018 - qualifying round South & Central
 » 9-19 November 2017
 AFC Futsal Championship 2018 - qualifying round West
 » 9-19 November 2017
 CONMEBOL Women's Copa America de Futsal Uruguay 2018 - final round
 » 10-18 January 2018
 UEFA Futsal Euro Slovenia 2018 - final round
 » February 2018
 AFC Futsal Championship 2018 - final round
 » 14-29 July 2018
 AFC Futsal Club Championship 2018 - final round
 » 8-16 September 2018
 Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 - boys
 » 1-12 October 2018
 Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 - girls
 » 1-12 October 2018
 AFC U-20 Futsal Championship 2019 - qualifying round
 » 1-9 December 2018
 CONMEBOL U-18 Championship Argentina 2018 - final round
 » 2018
 CONMEBOL Women's U-18 Championship Argentina 2018 - final round
 » 2018
 AFC U-20 Futsal Championship 2019 - final round
 » 2019
 FIFA Futsal World Cup 2020 - final round
 » 12 September - 4 October 2020

current ranking -
rankingteampointsrank dec 15+/-
dec 15
1 (1) Brazil192521
2 (2) Spain19111-1
3 (3) Russia172430
4 (4) Italy166240
5 (5) Iran162661
6 (6) Argentina16185-1
7 (7) Portugal157370
8 (8) Ukraine150080
9 (9) Kazakhstan1435156
10 (10) Azerbaijan1397111
>> full rank